Arthritis Action helps launch project that will boost arthritis support in partnership with leisure centres - Arthritis Action

Arthritis Action helps launch project that will boost arthritis support in partnership with leisure centres

woman swimming in pool1 July 2022

Arthritis Action has joined up with Good Boost, ukactive, Orthopaedic Research UK, ESCAPE-pain to create a health and fitness group that will research and pilot a project. Together we will work with leisure centres and swimming pools to support people living with arthritis and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

This pilot project will explore how the untapped potential of leisure centres can help the 20 million people living with arthritis and MSK conditions and save billions of pounds for the NHS.

MSK conditions can affect the muscles, joints, ligaments and nerves, and range from a knee injury to back pain and arthritis, making them the primary cause of disability globally and accounting for the third largest area of NHS spending.

David Vaux, Therapies Manager and Exercise Lead for Arthritis Action said: “I am hugely excited about the potential impact that leisure centre teams can have in helping people living with arthritis to self-manage their conditions.

“The team at Arthritis Action will be sharing specialist knowledge and techniques to help break down some of the barriers to taking part in exercise that are often experienced by people living with arthritis or long-term pain and mobility challenges. Pain, fear of injury and other factors can often put people off going to their local leisure centre.

“This project provides an excellent opportunity to bring the expertise of different partners together with the leisure sector to proactively support older people in being active.”

The project is aimed at people over the age of 50 and offers supported self-management options to help people maintain their mobility, improve physical function and reduce pain through exercise. Online resources will also be made available.

The project was designed after 18 months of research and working with older adults living with arthritis and MSK conditions, healthcare professionals and ukactive leisure operators. It has received £1.4 million in funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as part of their Healthy Ageing Challenge.