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ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO MOVE TO PREVENT AND TREAT ARTHRITIS

Let's Move Together Aims to Unite Americans in Fighting the Country's Most Common Disability

ATLANTA, GA - January 12, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — The Arthritis Foundation today announces the launch of Let's Move Together, a nationwide movement created to improve the quality of life of the one-in-five Americans living with the pain of arthritis.

Let's Move Together is designed to inspire people to move every day to prevent or treat arthritis, encouraging daily physical activity for better health and participation in their local Arthritis Walk—an annual event that promotes fun and fitness.

By the year 2030, an estimated 67 million people in the U.S. will be affected by arthritis, up from current estimates of 46 million. Even more alarming is the fact that the prevalence of osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, continues to rise even though it can often be prevented by staying active through enjoyable physical activities such as walking.

"Physical activity, such as walking, is crucial to managing joint pain, improving mobility and reducing fatigue often associated with arthritis," said Patience White, M.D., chief public health officer for the Arthritis Foundation. "It is our hope that the Let's Move Together movement will lead people to take action, both to improve their own lives and the lives of others with arthritis."

People can join Let's Move Together by contacting their local Arthritis Foundation chapter or visiting www.letsmovetogether.org. The Web site offers exercise tips and other suggestions on ways to creatively incorporate movement into daily activities, including links to the Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series programs offered to help people become active through arthritis-friendly exercise. The site also showcases uplifting stories of people who are battling arthritis by staying active, a physical activity tracker to help keep users moving all year, and information about Arthritis Walk events around the country. Visitors can even read a blog from others participating in the movement or contribute to message boards on a variety of movement-related topics.

"The Let's Move Together program educates people that is it important to move every day not just one day out of the year," added Dr. White. "By launching this movement in January we hope that people will commit to daily physical activity and continue to move together throughout the year."

About Let's Move Together:

Let's Move Together is a nationwide movement led by the Arthritis Foundation that encourages people to move to prevent or treat arthritis. Moving just 30 minutes daily, even 10 to 15 minutes at a time, can ease joint pain, improve mobility and reduce fatigue often associated with arthritis. Daily movement also can improve the quality of life of the 46 million Americans living with arthritis. Let's Move Together is a call to action: commit to the 2009 Arthritis Walk, the signature annual fundraising event of the Arthritis Foundation, and move daily for better health. Start moving today: visit www.letsmovetogether.org.

About the Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, the nation's most common cause of disability. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country.

The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $400 million in research grants since 1948. The foundation helps individuals take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis. Information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-283-7800 or www.arthritis.org.