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

Mature woman holding water bottle

Arthritis is one of the most widespread health conditions in the United States. It affects about one in four adults overall. That’s over 54 million men and women. To recognize this toll on Americans’ health, CDC, the Arthritis Foundation and other partners observe Arthritis Awareness Month in May.

Arthritis in Rural America

Arthritis affects working-age adults, older adults, and even children. The number of adults who live in rural or urban areas and are affected by arthritis was the topic of a recently published CDC analysis. Researchers found that more adults in rural areas are affected by arthritis with nearly 1 in 3 affected, than in urban areas. Adults living in the most rural areas were more limited by their arthritis, too. Over half reported being limited by arthritis. Arthritis limitations can include difficulties with moving and performing daily tasks, as well as social and work limitations.

Man walking

Walking is a great form of physical activity to help manage chronic diseases like Arthritis. Learn more about some of CDC-recommended programs for Arthritis.

Moving in May

No matter if you live in a rural area, suburb, or urban neighborhood, walking has been shown to improve arthritis pain, fatigue, function, and quality of life. There is no better time to begin a walking program or recommit yourself to a walking routine than during Arthritis Awareness Month. Walking is a great way for people with arthritis who live in rural areas to be physically active. For those uncertain about walking, proven programs such as Walk With Ease can help people get started.

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 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 the post office, coffee shop, or grocery store in the afternoon, and then take a 10 minute walk after dinner.