Middle East Arthritis Foundation hosts UAE’s largest walkathon

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The Middle East Arthritis Foundation (MEAF) is challenging people with its ‘Walk for Arthritis’ event on 22nd February, to get moving in an effort to improve the lives of the one in five people in the UAE who live with arthritis.

Founding Member of the Foundation, Dr. Humeira Badsha said that the walkathon will help people with and without arthritis to set themselves a physical challenge or even to extend their current exercise regime.

“Walk for Arthritis’ is the largest arthritis gathering in the UAE and is our annual event that makes every step count and every participant matter. When you’re in pain, it’s hard to believe that there is a way to avoid the discomfort. However, knowing what causes the pain and understanding how to manage it, can help break the pain chain to improve the quality of life,” added Dr. Humeira Badsha.

“Events like this is an opportunity to unite the community and reassure arthritis patients that they are not alone. With more than 100 different types of arthritis and treatments, it is important that people are aware of the support network they have available and what treatment works best for them.”

Across the globe, approximately 350 million people suffer from arthritis, leaving them struggling to do routine tasks, effecting their jobs, their financial resources, or their relationships with family and friends. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that the number of adults whose arthritis pain was limiting their daily activities has increased by more than 20% over the past several years. Studies have proved that low-intensity physical activity performed on a regular basis can help reduce pain, improve functioning, elevate mood and delay the onset of disability.

The 2019 Walk for Arthritis is organized in an effort to help improve the quality of life of people living with arthritis. This year the UAE community will walk 3.5km from 8am at Dubai Creek Park. The walkathon will include fun activities for the entire family including a fancy dress competition providing three chances to win. With the theme ‘Bones and Joints’, participants are invited to show off their colorful, themed costumes during the walk.

In its continuous efforts to inspire and educate, MEAF also invited family and friends to offer encouragement and support. Supported by Physiotherapy exercise demos will be conducted by fitness professionals for patients on how to effectively follow an exercise routine. The UAE business community actively supports the awareness and early diagnosis of arthritis, with AbbVie, Pfizer, Janssen, Novartis, Eli Lilly and other brands being companies that partner with the MEAF to support the cause.

Nita, a 39 year-old diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) commented, “the medication and support provided is invaluable and has helped me manage my health challenges.  I am keen to impart this same feeling to other participants and to help raise awareness about arthritis and show others that it is possible to walk away from pain.”

To register for the Walk for Arthritis, visit www.arthritis.ae  or call +971 50 534 3182; for more information about this event, follow the Foundation on Facebook: Emirates Arthritis Foundation.

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