Priority Strategies

The following table highlights the list of top priority environmental and policy strategies that, based on the opinion of the expert meeting participants, are the most practical and doable, likely to have the greatest impact on adults with arthritis, able to be initiated within 1-2 years, and sustainable over time. It is important to note that the priority strategies are arthritis specific and intended to supplement more comprehensive strategies implemented in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the National Physical Activity Plan, the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and other general physical activity recommendations and applicable laws. To maximize their impact, many of the strategies in this document need to be translated into organizational or public policies. In general, where resources are limited, investments are best utilized if focused on communities with the highest prevalence of arthritis. These strategies are designed to be implemented by organizations and individuals who work in and influence the six influential sectors.

Priority Environmental and Policy Strategies
for Improving Physical Activity Among Adults With Arthritis

Community and Public Health

 Public health, aging services networks, faith-based organizations and other community agencies should invest resources in the dissemination and delivery of evidence-based physical activity programs for adults with arthritis in convenient settings.

Health Care

Health care systems should require licensed health care professionals to ask arthritis patients about physical activity levels at every visit, screen for arthritis-specific barriers to physical activity, encourage physical activity, and recommend evidence-based community interventions or rehabilitation therapies when appropriate.

Transportation, Land Use and Community Design

Policies should be put in place and reinforced to create or expand efforts to promote active living environments that can support adults with arthritis being physically active.

Business and Industry

Comprehensive worksite wellness programs should be inclusive and explicitly incorporate the needs of adults with arthritis in their programs without requiring disclosure of arthritis diagnosis.

Park, Recreation, Fitness and Sport

Park, recreation, fitness and sport professionals should receive training on how to adapt and modify physical activity programs and exercises for adults with arthritis and assist them in initiating and sustaining appropriate physical activity.

Mass Media and Communication

Available evidence-based physical activity interventions for adults with arthritis should be promoted through information, guidelines, signage, media promotion and public outreach.

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