Adults with Arthritis More Likely to be Injured by Falls
Michigan Recognizing Link Between Arthritis and Falls to Reduce Injuries

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2014

LANSING, Mich. - During the month of May, Governor Rick Snyder and the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) are recognizing Arthritis Awareness Month to raise awareness about arthritis and its link to severe injury from falls.

Among middle-aged and older adults, the prevalence of falls is significantly higher in those with arthritis than among those without. People with arthritis are also more likely to face an injury in the event of a fall. In addition to the risks associated with falls, pain from arthritis can keep people from being active. However, research shows that physical activity relieves arthritis pain and helps reduce the risk of falls and injuries from falls.

According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), twenty to thirty percent of falls result in moderate to severe injuries such as lacerations, hip fractures, or head traumas. These injuries often go beyond the immediate impact of the fall making it hard to get around or live independently, and may increase the risk of early death.

During Arthritis Awareness Month, MDCH is encouraging residents to utilize community resources such as EnhanceFitness to help increase their activity levels. EnhanceFitness is a group exercise program that helps older adults at all levels of fitness become more active, energized, and able to maintain their independence. Classes are one-hour long, meet three days a week, and are offered at more than 75 community locations around the state. Each one-hour class consists of strength training, flexibility and balance exercises, and aerobic exercise.

Certified instructors lead the class through exercises at a pace that is right for each person. Instructors can help each participant adapt exercises to match their fitness level and abilities. EnhanceFitness is proven to:

  • Increase strength. People who regularly attend class grow stronger, improve their balance, and become more limber.
  • Boost activity levels. Even the unfit quickly find themselves able to do things they want to do, safely and independently.
  • Elevate mood. Research shows that exercise can help prevent depression, and EnhanceFitness participants say they feel better physically and emotionally.

EnhanceFitness classes are fun and easy. For more information about arthritis or EnhanceFitness classes in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/arthritis. For more information about the data from the CDC, visit www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6317a3.htm?s_cid=mm6317a3_e.

# # #