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Arthritis stops diabetics from engaging in exercise.

More than half of adults with diagnosed diabetes also have arthritis, making them less likely to engage in activities such as walking, swimming, or biking that can help them manage both conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed data on the prevalence of physical inactivity among adults with arthritis and diabetes in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The study found that 29.8 percent of adults with arthritis and diabetes are inactive, compared with 21.0 percent of people with diabetes alone, 17.3 percent of those with arthritis alone, and 10.9 percent of adults with neither condition.

The study suggests that arthritis acts as an additional barrier to physical activity among those with diabetes. Physical activity is an important health strategy for managing diabetes and arthritis. For people with diabetes, exercise helps control blood glucose and risk factors for complications. For people with arthritis, exercise reduces joint pain and improves joint function.

Disease self-management classes, including exercise programs that address arthritis-specific barriers, may help adults with arthritis and diabetes better manage their disease. Programs proven to be effective in managing arthritis, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, the Arthritis Foundation's Exercise Program, and Enhance Fitness, are available in many local communities.

For more information about the study, Arthritis as a Potential Barrier to Physical Activity among Adults with Diabetes: United States, 2005 and 2007, visit

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Publication:The Journal of Employee Assistance
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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