Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis affects one in five adults in the United States. That's 53 million men and women. If you are among them, share your story during May, which is Arthritis Awareness Month, and let others See Arthritis. And if you don't have arthritis, explore the stories of those with arthritis by searching for the hashtag #SeeArthritis on social media.

Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. It affects working-age adults, seniors and even children. However, the number of working-age adults affected by arthritis is largely unrecognized. In fact, two-thirds of all people with arthritis are working age adults, ages 18-64.

To raise awareness about arthritis, CDC, the Arthritis Foundation and other partners observe Arthritis Awareness Month in May. The 2016 theme is See Arthritis.

The goal of this year's observance is to recognize how those with arthritis live well and acknowledge their everyday victories. To do so, those living with arthritis are encouraged to share their story with colleagues, friends, family and loved ones, so they too can See Arthritis.

Sharing Your Story

  • Tell your personal story with your family and loved ones. Have an open and honest conversation about the challenges you face by having arthritis and share with them how they can provide support. Let them know that you want them to See Arthritis and understand how you are coping with the disease.
  • Use social media to increase awareness of arthritis. Tweet about your personal arthritis story. Also, post your story to Facebook and encourage others to do the same. Use the hashtags #ArthritisMonth and #SeeArthritis.
  • Read the stories of people with arthritis. No matter if you have arthritis or not, learn how men and women throughout the United States are living with arthritis. Go to the #SeeArthritis social media page.

Time to start a walking routine.

Moving in May

There is no better time than Arthritis Awareness Month to get physically active.

  • Start or keep on walking –May is a great time to begin a walking program or recommit yourself to a walking routine. Physical activity has been shown to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. Walking is a great way for people with arthritis to be physically active. Ask others to join you for a walk.
  • Walking is recommended —All adults, including adults with arthritis, should get 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) per week and do muscle-strengthening activities two or more days a week. If you take brisk walks for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, you will meet the aerobic activity recommendations from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Don't think you can walk for 30 minutes at one time? You can break it up into 10 minute sessions and spread it out during the day—walk the dog 10 minutes in the morning, take a 10 minute walk to discuss a project with a co-worker, and walk 10 minutes around a sports facility or parking lot while waiting to pick up your kids from after school activities.

Getting Started

  • There are exercise programs, such as EnhanceFitness and Walk with Ease, that can help people with arthritis increase their physical activity safely and comfortably. Ys, local parks and recreation centers offer these programs in some locations.
  • Self-management education classes can help you change your routine to become more physically active. These classes have been proven to influence exercise, increase confidence in making healthy lifestyle changes, and the ability to do household and social activities, and decrease depression, pain, and frustration about health. They help adults living with arthritis learn techniques to reduce pain and improve function and to develop skills and confidence to manage arthritis and other conditions daily.
Top