State health officials say that 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.

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.

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.



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