It is well known that physically active people are healthier, happier and live longer than those who lead a sedentary life and this would be especially true for those suffering from arthritis. Inactivity can have several negative effects from type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
These diseases are increasingly common in our society that emphasizes the success based on the over- work and often leaves no room for body care. Yet even the Romans used to say “mens sana in corpore sano“! (healthy mind in a healthy body)
PRESENT AT ALL COSTS
In Europe, more than 40 million workers are suffering from musculoskeletal diseases, with an annual cost to the European countries of EUR 240 billion (source: Fit for Work Europe). Fit for Work is an initiative based on groundbreaking studies, conducted across more than 30 countries in Europe and beyond, which examined the impact of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) on an individuals ability to work and, therefore, the impact on economies and society as a whole. Stephen Bevan, co-chair of the Fit for Work, pointed out that “working in the best possible condition is good for health and well-being of the individual and of the society.” That’s why we think that the work should be a “clinics” priority for the patient. Taking the example of rheumatoid arthritis, recent studies show that at least 1 person on 5 stops working within 5 years of diagnosis and who, however, remains at work has inevitably lower productivity, estimated at about 40 days lost per year.
Often those affected by chronic illness are prone to work despite the pain and other discomforts, physical and psychological, related to their conditions. From research conducted in the U.S. it seems that the presence of those seek people is more expensive than you think. It appeared that the real cost for a company due to workers chronically ill is 2-3 times higher than the costs of targeted and early interventions to improve health and working conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases, this is the reason why we report some useful tips.
EXERCISES FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS
The American College of Rheumatology experts suggest 4 categories of exercises particularly useful in cases of arthritis that act on several fronts: flexibility, muscle strengthening, aerobic capacity and body awareness.
- Flexibility: Flexibility exercises help to maintain or improve the flexibility in affected joints and surrounding muscles. Benefits include better posture, reduced risk of injuries and improved function. When focusing on flexibility exercises, range of motion exercises should be performed 5 to 10 times on a daily basis while stretching exercises can be performed at least three days a week with each stretch being held for 30 seconds.
- Strengthening: Strengthening exercises are designed to work muscles. Strong muscles improve function and help to reduce bone loss related to inactivity. For people with arthritis, one set of 8 to 10 exercises for the major muscle groups of the body 2 to 3 times a week is recommended. However, older individuals may find that 10-15 repetitions with less resistance are more effective. The resistance or weight should challenge the muscles without increasing joint pain.
- Aerobic: Aerobic exercises include activities that use the large muscles of the body in a repetitive and rhythmic manner. Aerobic exercise improves heart, lung and muscle function. For people with arthritis, this type of exercise has benefits for weight control, mood, sleep and general health. Safe forms of aerobic exercise include walking, aerobic dance, aquatic exercise, bicycling or exercising on equipment such as stationary bikes, treadmills or elliptical trainers. Current recommendations for aerobic activity are 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, preferably spread out over several days.
- Body awareness: Body awareness exercises include activities to improve posture, balance, joint position sense, coordination and relaxation. Tai chi and yoga are examples of recreational exercises that incorporate elements of body awareness and can be a very useful part of an arthritis exercise plan.