Arthritis Ireland is highlighting the positive impact of physical activity on people with arthritis and related conditions during National Arthritis Week, which takes place 4-10 April 2022.

According to the national patient organisation, the number of people living with arthritis is forecast to increase in the coming decades. Two key drivers are increased life expectancy and physical inactivity. Just 46% of adults in Ireland are achieving the minimum level of activity of 150 minutes per week. This figure falls to one-third for adults aged 65-74.

Arthritis is the biggest cause of disability in the country and affects one million people in Ireland.

According to Gráinne O’Leary, chief executive of Arthritis Ireland, “Physical activity is one of the most effective treatments to help manage arthritis. Although the pain from arthritis can make a person feel less like exercising, even a small amount or moderate amount of activity can help to relieve pain, stiffness and inflammation. 

"Remember it doesn’t have to be a marathon. Even small amounts of physical activity can have a positive effect on symptoms.

The key is start small and build up over time and don’t forget to seek advice and support from your healthcare professional – be it your GP or your Chartered Physiotherapist." O'Leary said.

As part of National Arthritis Week, the charity is hosting a 5km a Day challenge to coincide with the week-long campaign to raise awareness around arthritis. 

There will also be a live Be Active with Arthritis online module hosted by the charity and the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists on 7th April at 1pm. Karen Quinn, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist in Rheumatology in Cork University Hospital will be guest speaker.

Further information about National Arthritis Week is available on the charity’s website at www.arthritisireland.ie.

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