Prescribing Physical Activity to Improve Arthritis Management

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Originally presented on May 9, 2022


An estimated 23 percent of US adults (over 54 million) report provider–diagnosed arthritis and there are about 3.5 million adult New Yorkers (22.7%) who have been diagnosed with arthritis. Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the nation and in New York State, and it limits one’s ability to complete daily activities and the type or amount of work someone can do. Arthritis frequently occurs with other chronic conditions and can negatively affect the management and control of these other conditions. Joint pain and stiffness are common symptoms of arthritis, yet these symptoms can be reduced and progression of certain forms of arthritis can be mitigated by participating in exercise programs and regular physical activity. 

Physical activity and exercise ease arthritis pain and improve the quality of life of adults living with arthritis. Studies show that adults with arthritis can decrease pain and improve function by about 40% by being physically active. Despite the proven benefits of physical activity, NYS adults with arthritis engage in less physical activity compared to those without arthritis. 

Health care providers play an important role in helping patients with arthritis become physically active to reduce their pain through physical activity assessment, prescribing physical activity, and referring to arthritis-appropriate evidence-based interventions. Tools like the Exercise is Medicine® program can help health care providers and public health professionals communicate to this population that activities like walking, biking, or swimming are proven to relieve joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, and other arthritis symptoms and improve balance, physical ability, and quality of life. 

Target Audience

Physicians, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners, particularly working in orthopedics and rheumatology, along with pharmacists, social workers and community health/public health professionals.



Prescribing Physical Activity to Improve Arthritis Management


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Elizabeth Joy, MD, MPH, FACSM, FAMSSM
Senior Medical Director for Wellness and Nutrition
Intermountain Healthcare
Adjunct Faculty, University of Utah School of Medicine

Pablo Lopez, MD
Physician Fellow, University at Albany School of Public Health
Arthritis Program, New York State Department of Health

Learning Outcome and Objectives

As a result of this learning activity, the learner will increase their knowledge and competence on how exercise plans and physical activity can be used as a form of treatment for arthritis to further reduce symptoms and disease progression. 

After viewing the webcast, you will be able to: 

  • Recognize the burden of arthritis in New York State
  • Discuss physical activity as a strategy to improve arthritis symptoms and decrease joint pain
  • Summarize tools for promoting physical activity and counseling people with arthritis, including the Exercise is Medicine® framework
  • Identify referral opportunities to arthritis-appropriate evidence-based physical activity programs
Evaluation, Post-Test and Certificate
Continuing Education Credits

To Obtain Continuing Education Credits

Each participant interested in CE credits must watch the activity, complete an evaluation and post-test, which is available above under "Evaluation, Post-test for CE Credits". A score of 80% and above on the post-test will generate a certificate indicating the requested credits.


Disclosure Statements 

None of the planners or presenters have any financial arrangements or affiliations with any commercial entities whose products, research or services may be discussed in this activity. 

No commercial funding has been accepted for this activity.


Continuing Medical Education Credits 

The School of Public Health, University at Albany is accredited by the Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The School of Public Health, University at Albany designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 
Continuing Medical Education Credits are offered until May 31, 2025.

Continuing Nurse Education Contact Hours 

University at Albany School of Public Health is approved with distinction as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the Northeast Multistate Division Education Unit, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 

This offering is approved for 1 nursing contact hour.

Nursing Contact Hours are offered until March 23, 2025.


Certified Health Education Specialist Contact Hours 

Sponsored by the School of Public Health, University at Albany, SUNY, a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. This program is designated for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES®) and/or Master Certified Health Education Specialists (MCHES®) to receive up to 1.0 total Category I contact education contact hours. Maximum advanced-level continuing education contact hours available are 0. Continuing Competency credits available are 1.0. Provider ID# 99086. 

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered until May 31, 2025.


Certified in Public Health 

This event is sponsored by the School of Public Health, University at Albany, an approved provider of CPH Renewal Credits by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. 

This offering is approved for 1.0 Certified in Public Health Renewal Credits. 

Continuing Education Contact Hours are offered until May 31, 2025.


Social Work 

University at Albany, School of Social Welfare, Social Work Continuing Education Program is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Social Workers as an approved provider of continuing education for Licensed Social Workers - #0011

This offering is approved for 1 social work self-study continuing education hour. 

Social Work credits are offered until May 31, 2025.