Efforts to increase the walkability of our communities will encourage and support physical activity for all Vermonters. According to both the CDC's Recommended Community Strategies to Prevent Obesity and the Guide to Community Preventive Services, environmental changes to improve access, safety, and attractiveness of places to be physically active are evidence based strategies for reducing rates of overweight and obesity and increasing rates of physical activity. These strategies are among the most sustainable ways to make long term, population based impacts.
Arthritis is the nation's most common cause of disability. There is a greater burden of arthritis in Vermont than nationally, in part due to our aging population with 28% of Vermont adults reporting having arthritis vs. 25% of all U.S. adults. Arthritis limits the activities of nearly half of Vermont adults with this chronic condition.
Among U.S. adults with arthritis, nearly half (47%) have at least one other disease or condition. In addition, 49% of adults with heart disease, 47% of those with diabetes, 44% of those with high blood pressure, and 31% of those who are obese also have arthritis.[i]
Contrary to popular belief among many with arthritis and osteoporosis, exercise is important for controlling the symptoms of arthritis. Walking, bicycling, and swimming can have many benefits that include less pain and better physical function, mental health, and quality of life. Maintaining a healthy weight is a key factor in reducing the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Physical activity can also help manage other chronic conditions that are common among adults with arthritis, such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The CDC recommends the following for adults with arthritis:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week OR
- 1 hour 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week OR
- an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
- Muscle strengthening exercises on 2 or more days per week.
- Balance exercises on 3 days per week if at risk of falling.
[i] National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion