Fighting the Country's No. 1 Disability

New Ad Council Campaign Shows Americans How to Combat Arthritis

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Joining a new initiative to reduce the impact of osteoarthritis, the Arthritis Foundation and the Ad Council are launching a national campaign today that tells Americans that "moving is the best medicine."

The campaign is being released in conjunction with a new initiative by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Arthritis Foundation, outlined in an action plan, "A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis."

"This national public health agenda with the CDC and the new public awareness campaign with the Ad Council will dispel the myth that osteoarthritis is an inevitable part of aging and will call on the nation and individuals to take proven steps to prevent and decrease the pain and disability of arthritis," said Dr. John H. Klippel, president-CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, in announcing the effort.

According to the foundation, arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the U.S, affecting one in five adults, or 43 million people. The number is expected to grow to an estimated 67 million by 2030. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of the disease and affects almost 27 million U.S. adults, costing an estimated $5,700 per person annually.

The new agenda released today is the first comprehensive national action calling for collective action on osteoarthritis by health care providers, insurers, policymakers, public health agencies and the public. The plan calls for four intervention strategies:

  • Self-management education
  • Physical activity
  • Injury prevention
  • Weight management

To create awareness for these recommendations, the new multimedia PSA campaign, developed by the foundation and the Ad Council in conjunction with the American College of Rheumatology, encourages people to take simple steps to reduce pain, increase their mobility and help prevent disability caused by osteoarthritis. "Fight Arthritis Pain, created pro bono by Y&R, New York, emphasizes physical activity and weight reduction with the tagline, "Moving is the best medicine."

The campaign includes TV, radio, print, outdoor and Internet ads, and directs people to a new website that offers a risk assessment tool for osteoarthritis, a movement tracker, a live news feed, community forums and blogs, and a program and event locator, as well as campaign materials. A social media program will also direct people to visit the Web site.

"Physical activity for those living with osteoarthritis can be daunting because of the pain and discomfort they live with every day," Ad Council President-CEO Peggy Conlon said. "Through this wonderful campaign with the Arthritis Foundation, those with or at risk for osteoarthritis will be empowered to increase their movement and ultimately reduce the pain and disability associated with the disease."