FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/4/13) – The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Department for Aging and Independent Living, in partnership with the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet’s LivingWell Program, today hosted an event on National Walking Day to encourage individuals with arthritis to make walking a regular component of disease management. The event, which took place at the Human Resources Complex, highlighted the new partnership between state government and the Arthritis Foundation to bring its Walk With Ease program to state employees and others.
Walking and other forms of physical activity are recommended for individuals with arthritis as a way to manage pain associated with the disease and slow its progression.
Walk With Ease is a guided course that assists individuals in safely making physical activity a part of everyday life. The course emphasizes support, information and tools to help individuals meet their physical activity goals. The program is designed for people with arthritis and other chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Information on how to register for the course was provided at the event.
Walk With Ease is being offered to Kentucky Employee Health Plan members and to other Kentuckians at no cost thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Online registration is available at https://prd.chfs.ky.gov/GenLogEX/Detail.aspx?TK=51&;Item=0.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer Walk With Ease to state employees and others across the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, M.D, commissioner of the Department for Public Health. “As with any fitness program, chances of success are much higher when individuals have the resources and tools to accomplish their goals. This program provides that support – and much more.”
Specifically, Walk With Ease is a walking program designed to give participants information and ideas to help them develop successful walking routines and stay motivated to continue walking. The Walk With Ease guidebook includes:
• The basics about arthritis and the relationship between arthritis, exercise and pain.
• How to exercise safely and comfortably.
• Making a doable personal walking plan.
• Setting realistic goals for improving fitness.
While the Walk with Ease program was developed to help people with arthritis pain, all individuals who are looking for a way to improve their health by being more physically active can benefit from this free program and are encouraged to participate. Walking and other forms of cardiovascular activity are encouraged as part of an overall healthy lifestyle to improve fitness and reduce risk of chronic disease.
“LivingWell is an initiative to encourage healthy lifestyles among state employees and members of the Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan,” said Joe Cowles, commissioner of the Personnel Cabinet’s Department of Employee Insurance. “By partnering with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, LivingWell participants are able to utilize an additional program to help reach their personal wellness goals.”
The Kentucky Employees’ Health Plan is also encouraging members to participate in the Walk With Ease program by offering it as a Commonwealth employer-sponsored event. Now KEHP members who complete the program and participate in HumanaVitality, the health plan’s incentivized wellness program, will receive an additional 35 Vitality Points. KEHP members can sign in to HumanaVitality by visiting LivingWell.ky.gov.
According to the 2011 Kentucky Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, one-third of adults in Kentucky reported they had been diagnosed with arthritis by their doctor. Based on this self-reported data, Kentucky BRFSS estimates that 42 percent of adults between the ages of 45 and 64, and 54 percent (337,000) of working-age (18-64) adults have arthritis.
“More than half of working adults who have arthritis say that arthritis limits their ability to work,” said Jennye Grider, coordinator for Public Health’s Arthritis Program. “Walk With Ease cannot only help manage pain and other symptoms associated with arthritis, but the program can improve work performance and attendance records.”
Information provided by Beth Fisher
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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