Arthritis Policy Resources

Environmental and societal conditions may influence the availability of and access to programs, treatment, and therapies that reduce pain and improve function and quality of life for people with arthritis. Supporting policy and environmental solutions and expanding partnerships to address arthritis are critical strategies for improving arthritis public health practices and health outcomes.

For information about the key focus areas of CDC’s Arthritis Management and Wellbeing Program, visit the About CDC’s Arthritis Management and Wellbeing Program page.


CDC Arthritis Fact Sheet: Improving the Quality of Life for People With Arthritis

The CDC Arthritis Fact Sheet provides a current, comprehensive overview of CDC’s Arthritis Management and Wellbeing Program activities. The fact sheet includes highlights about the epidemiology and surveillance activities, environmental approach practices, health intervention promotion activities, and community programs linked to clinical services supported by CDC. Learn more from the CDC Arthritis Fact Sheet.

group of adults stretching together

The Arthritis Foundation’s Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults With Arthritis and corresponding Physical Activity Implementation Guide

The Arthritis Foundation, through a cooperative agreement with CDC and in conjunction with a variety of partners, identified strategies for increasing physical activity among adults with arthritis in the publication Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults With Arthritis. Individuals with arthritis have disease-specific barriers to being physically active and often have other co-occurring chronic diseases that also are associated with physical inactivity. Physical activity is beneficial for adults with arthritis, yet despite these benefits adults with arthritis have higher rates of physical inactivity than those without arthritis. This report focuses on increasing physical activity because of the many benefits for adults with arthritis, the unique role policy and environmental strategies can have in addressing arthritis-specific barriers to physical activity, and the other long-established benefits physical activity has for co-occurring chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Visit the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance website to read the full reportCdc-pdf[PDF – 3.16 MB]External.

The companion Physical Activity Implementation Guide, released in 2014 as an interactive microsite, can be used to help put into action these strategies to increase physical activity. The guide identifies six influential sectors that play important roles in influencing and sustaining physical activity among adults with arthritis. These sectors can use the guide to carry out the strategies identified in the report.

Visit the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance website to learn more about the Physical Activity Implementation GuideExternal.


Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA)

The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) is a national coalition initially created through a partnership between CDC and the Arthritis Foundation. OAAA’s purpose is to promote and respond to the goals and recommendations contained in A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis: 2020 Update [PDF – 3MB]. Now under the coordination and oversight of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, over 100 partner organizations are working together to reduce the burden of osteoarthritis through strategies that address physical activity, self-management education, injury prevention, and weight management.

OAAA promotes the prevention and control of osteoarthritis and its progression through proven interventions, public policies, communication strategies, and enhanced research initiatives.

For more information about the OAAA’s work, visit the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance websiteExternal.

Osteoarthritis Action Alliance Sub-Awards to Implement the Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults with Arthritis

The Environmental and Policy Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Adults with Arthritis report focuses on the benefits of physical activity and ways to make physical activity more convenient and accessible for adults with arthritis. Developed by the Arthritis Foundation in partnership with CDC and others, the report focuses on six sectors that play crucial roles in reaching, influencing, and sustaining physical activity among adults with arthritis. The OAAA, through the leadership of the University of North Carolina, continues to fund annual mini-grant awards to community organizations to implement strategies within the various sectors.

Visit the OAAA website to read the report Cdc-pdf[PDF – 3.16 MB]External and the companion Physical Activity Implementation GuideExternal.

Learn more about the projects awarded through OAAA’s mini-grant programExternal.

Osteoarthritis Resources for Action

The OAAA supports strategies to improve osteoarthritis (OA) awareness, education, and resources to address the toll of OA. The OAAA maintains current information on its website to assist individuals, community organizations, professional societies, businesses, policymakers (local, state, and federal), and others in addressing osteoarthritis locally and nationally.

  • OAAA Tools and InformationExternal—A collection of webpages containing the latest data highlighting the socioeconomic burden of OA among US adults and associated solutions.
  • Community Partners pageExternal—a collection of useful resources for community-based organizations looking to add CDC-recognized, evidence-based interventions to their program offerings for adults with arthritis (e.g., Walk With Ease, Fit & Strong, CDSMP, etc.). These resources can be used to help organizations make the case for adopting programs to decision makers, implement and deliver programs as designed, track participation, sustain programs long-term, and more.
  • InfographicExternal—Osteoarthritis: A Central Problem—this infographic presents a one-page illustration of the socioeconomic burden of OA and strategies to take action.

The OAAA also engages partner organizations to increase OA awareness and related education for their users, followers, and professional members.

Exploring Employee Health and Wellness Benefit Packages

Through a continuing partnership with CDC and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD), Medworks Consulting is educating multiple employers throughout the United States about the benefits of offering evidence-based arthritis interventions as part of health and wellness benefit packages for employees. Additionally, Medworks is exploring options for workplace or insurer-related financing of these programs. They will also educate health insurance companies about the benefits of promoting arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions.

For more information, contact Heather Murphy at NACCD.