Walk With Ease

Arthritis Foundation

Overview

Walk With Ease is a direct education program that is designed to promote education about successful physical activity for people with arthritis, arthritis self-management and walking safely and comfortably. Walk With Ease also encourages participants to continue their walking program and explore other exercise and self-management programs that deliver proven benefits for people with arthritis. Walk With Ease can be done by individuals using the Walk With Ease guidebook on their own or by groups led by trained leaders. While walking is the central activity, Walk With Ease is a multi-component program that also includes health education, stretching and strengthening exercises, and motivational strategies.

Camine Con Gusto is the Spanish language and Hispanic/Latinx cultural adaption of the Walk With Ease program. See the Spanish language description of Walk With Ease in italics below:

Camine con gusto es un programa de acondicionamiento físico que puede reducir el dolor y mejorar la salud en general. Si puede pararse por 10 minutos sin sentir dolor, puede beneficiarse de Camine con gusto. Beneficios de Camine con gusto incluyen:

  • Motivación para aumentar su capacidad física.
  • Caminar con comodidad y seguridad.
  • Aumentar su flexibilidad, fortaleza y resistencia.
  • Reducir el dolor y sentirse muy bien.

En los estudios realizados por el Centro Thurston de Investigación sobre la Artritis (Thurston Arthritis Research Center) y por el Instituto de Envejecimiento (Institute on Aging) de la Universidad de Carolina del Norte, se demostró que Camine con gusto reduce el dolor, aumenta el equilibrio y fuerza, y mejora la salud en general.

Target Behavior: Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Intervention Reach and Adoption

Walk With Ease targets adults with arthritis or other chronic diseases who want to be more physically active. The Walk With Ease program can be implemented in low income neighborhoods in different settings, such as churches, retirement communities, nursing homes, worksite (low-wage companies), and others.

There are three program formats:

  • Group: All 18 sessions are led by an in-person, Arthritis Foundation-certified leader.
  • Self-Directed: An individual uses the Walk With Ease Guidebook to complete the six-week program on his/her own.
  • Self-Directed Enhanced: A group of individuals begin and end the six-week program at the same time. A designated leader coordinates communication to ensure participants are organized and motivated to complete program. Detailed toolkit.

Setting: Community, Worksite

Age: Adults, Older Adults

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

Walk With Ease includes health education information, walking (10-35 minutes walking duration), stretching and strengthening exercises and motivational tips and tools. These components provide education to promote successful physical activity, self-management skills, continuation of adoption of walking program and exploration of other physical activities. Both individual and group formats are set up as a structured six-week program.

Intervention Materials

Leader Training Resources
Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease leaders may provide in-person group and Self-Directed Enhanced Walk With Ease sessions. Leaders will receive an Arthritis Foundation certification*, a leader’s manual filled with exercise illustrations, health education information, and a six-week walking plan. Video course typically completed in 3 -4 hours. 4 CEUs provided.

Participant Resources
All participants must receive the Walk With Ease guidebook with information on how to get ready to walk, begin walking and stay motivated to continue walking. The guidebook also provides basic information on arthritis, managing pain and stiffness, proper clothing and equipment, self-monitoring for physical problems, safety precautions and how to anticipate and overcome barriers to being physically active.

To sign-up or learn more, visit https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/physical-activity/walking/walk-with-ease.

Intervention Costs

Instructor Training – $89 (optional) Participant Book – $11.95 retail (discounts available). A Kindle e-book option is available via Amazon

  • A Kindle device is not required, just the free Kindle app.

Partner Resources

Evidence Summary

Walk With Ease has used a quasi-experimental study design with 462 individuals from 31 rural and urban communities to evaluate the program. Results show that both the self- directed and group formats were safe and effective. Program participants experienced decreased disability; improvements in levels of pain, fatigue, stiffness and self- confidence; and better perceived control over arthritis, balance, strength and walking pace.

Additional information on Walk with Ease and Camine con Gusto can be found in the following publications:

  • Altpeter M, Schoster B, Meier A, Callahan LF. The Nuts and Bolts of Program Adaptation: Our formative evaluation of the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program. Journal of Applied Gerontology (under review).
  • Altpeter M, Houenou LO, Martin KR, Schoster B, Callahan LF. Recruiting and retaining hard-to-reach populations: lessons learned and targeted strategies from arthritis physical activity intervention studies. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(7):927-928.
  • Altpeter M, Callahan LF, Schoster B, Meier A, Buysse K. Applying the RE-AIM framework to a formative evaluation of the Walk with Ease (WWE) program for people with arthritis. 2nd International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, April 13-16, 2008, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  • Bruno, M., Cummins, S., Gaudiano, L., Stoos, J., & Blanpied, P. (2006). Effectiveness of two Arthritis Foundation programs: Walk With Ease, and YOU Can Break the Pain Cycle. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 1(3), 295–306.
  • Callahan LF, Shreffler JH, Altpeter M, et al. Evaluation of group and self-directed formats of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(8):1098-1107.
  • Callahan, L. F., Rivadeneira, A., Altpeter, M., Vilen, L., Cleveland, R. J., Sepulveda, V. E., Rojas, C. (2016). Evaluation of the arthritis foundation’s camine Con Gusto program for Hispanic adults with arthritis. Hispanic Health Care International: The Official Journal of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, 14(3), 132–140.
  • Conte, K. P., Odden, M. C., Linton, N. M., & Harvey, S. M. (2016). Effectiveness of a scaled-up arthritis self-management program in Oregon: Walk With Ease. American Journal of Public Health, 106(12), 2227–2230.
  • Nyrop KA, Charnock BL, Martin KR, Lias J, Altpeter M, Callahan LF. Effect of a six-week walking program on work place activity limitations among adults with arthritis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011;63(12):1773-1776.
  • Schoster B, Altpeter M, Meier A, Callahan LF. Methodological tips for overcoming formative evaluation challenges: the case of the Arthritis Foundation Walk With Ease program. Health Promot Pract. 2012;13(2):198-203.
  • Sheikh, S. Z., Kaufman, K., Gordon, B.-B., Hicks, S., Love, A., Walker, J., … Cleveland, R. J. (2019). Evaluation of the self-directed format of Walk With Ease in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: the Walk-SLE Pilot Study. Lupus, 28(6), 764–770.
  • Silverstein RP, VanderVos M, Welch H, Long A, Kaboré CD, Hootman JM. Self-Directed Walk With Ease Workplace Wellness Program – Montana, 2015-2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1295-1299. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6746a3external icon
  • Vilen L, Cleveland RJ, Callahan LF. Educational Attainment, Health Status, and Program Outcomes in Latino Adults With Arthritis Participating in a Walking Program. Prev Chronic Dis 2018;15:180129. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.180129
  • Wyatt, B., Mingo, C. A., Waterman, M. B., White, P., Cleveland, R. J., & Callahan, L. F. (2014). Impact of the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program on arthritis symptoms in African Americans. Preventing Chronic Disease, 11, E199.

Classification: Research-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST3 MT3 LT3 R7
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence

 

Evaluation Materials

Currently, no evaluation tools or materials are available.

Additional Information

Website: The Walk With Ease website (http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/walk-with-ease/) includes a program overview, resources, tools, a mobile app, and video instructions for starting the program. Materials are for purchase and the site offers sneak peeks inside the tools.

Contact Person:
Nick Turkas (Director, External Affairs)
Arthritis Foundation
Email: nturkas@arthritis.org
Phone: (704) 802-7339