The Arthritis Foundation is part of a global effort – World Arthritis Day – on October 12, to increase awareness of the many forms of arthritis and to call on individuals and policymakers to take action to reduce the burden of arthritis around the world.

World Arthritis Day was established in 1996 by Arthritis and Rheumatism International and is observed in more than 50 countries each year on or around October 12.

 On this day, we urge people worldwide with arthritis and related diseases to join together and make their voices heard.

World Arthritis Day strives to:

  • Raise awareness of arthritis among the general public, medical community and people with the disease.
  • Influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of arthritis and steps that can be taken to ease it.
  • Ensure that all people with arthritis and their caregivers are aware of the vast support network available to them.


Take Action

Did you know arthritis affects several hundred million people worldwide and is the leading cause of disability, striking one in five adults and 300,000 children in the United States? The disease exacts a hefty financial toll, costing the U.S. economy $128 billion annually.

Join us on October 12 and make a difference. Here are some ways you can help.

  • Share the “Waving With the World” image —If you’ve been touched by arthritis, share the World Arthritis Day photo montage of people from all over the world waving in support of those affected by arthritis. Post the photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #WorldArthritisDay. Be sure to include a personal message about how arthritis affects you or someone important to you.

  • Jingle With Us — Be one of the first 1,000 people to register for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk between October 10-12 and receive a free gift. Your participation helps raise awareness and funds to fight arthritis.

  • Write the First Lady — We’re reaching out to First Lady Michelle Obama and thanking her for Let's Move: a campaign focused on getting kids moving and preventing obesity in America. In addition to sharing our gratitude, we're asking the First Lady to talk about the benefits of movement and weight management for the prevention and treatment of arthritis. Send her a pre-drafted letter, add your story, and help ensure that future generations aren’t faced with the same disabling pain

  • Are You at Risk for Osteoarthritis? -- Take our quiz.


Move to Improve

Research has shown that even small amounts of physical activity not only benefit people with arthritis – helping them stay mobile, independent and able to participate in society – but are also important in helping prevent some joint problems and conditions like osteoporosis. Here are some ways you can Move to Improve.

  • Track your movement and more-Track + React is a simple but powerful online arthritis self-management tool for revealing which daily activities impact your arthritis symptoms. Developed by the experts at Arthritis Today magazine, the Track + React app allows you to track your activities and symptoms as they happen. It is free, easytouse, and information entered in the app or on the Web is automatically synced, so your information is always up to date.
  •  Walk With Ease-Walk With Ease is an Arthritis Foundation exercise program that can reduce pain and improve overall health. In studies by the Thurston Arthritis Research Center and the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina, Walk With Ease was shown to reduce pain, increase balance and strength, and improve overall health. If you can be on your feet for 10 minutes without increased pain, you can have success with Walk With Ease.


World Arthritis Day Events

Visit the World Arthritis Day events calendar to learn more about events happening in the U.S. and around the world.


How the Arthritis Foundation helps

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to raising awareness and reducing the impacts of arthritis. We do this by:

  • Funding life-changing research that has restored mobility in patients for more than six decades.
  • Fighting for health care policies that improve the lives of millions who live with arthritis.
  • Partnering with families to provide empowering programs and information.


Statement from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on World Arthritis Day Read the Secretary’s Statement


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