Evidence-Based Program: Walk With Ease

The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Program is a community-based physical activity and self-management education program. 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.

Additional topic includes arthritis.

Note: Track health promotion program guidance during COVID-19 regularly for updates to program implementation and training options. Programs traditionally implemented in-person may be temporarily allowable by telephone or online.

  • Target audience: Walk With Ease was specifically developed for adults with arthritis who want to be more physically active. The program is also appropriate for people without arthritis, particularly those with diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions, who want to get more active. The only pre-requisite is the ability to be on your feet for at least 10 minutes without increased pain. 
  • Health outcomes:
    • Decreased pain
    • Increased strength
    • Increased balance
    • Increased self-efficacy
  • Delivered by: Trained lay leader/facilitator, or there is a self-directed (individual) option available
  • Program type: There are three program formats:
    • Group – All 18 sessions are led by an in-person, Arthritis Foundation-certified leader. Group sessions include socialization time, pre-walk informational lecturettes, warm up and cool downs and a walking period.
    • 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.
  • Length: 6 weeks, 3 1-hour sessions each week (a total of 18 sessions)
  • Training: Online
  • Professional required: Yes, current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required; first aid certification is strongly recommended. Although not required as a pre-requisite, first aid certification is strongly recommended because of the danger of falls or other injuries, especially when the program is conducted outdoors. Professional liability insurance coverage with an aggregate/single occurrence limit not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) for personal injury or property damage, unless covered by host facility’s comprehensive or professional liability insurance policy. Other desirable abilities include: Empathy toward people with arthritis and related diseases, gained through personal or professional experience. Interest in working with groups of people with arthritis and related diseases.
  • Accessibility adaptations available: Yes. Participants may use mobility devices including canes, walkers or trekking poles to complete the walking segment. In addition, all strengthening exercise may be completed in the standing or seat position.
  • Cultural adaptations available: Camine Con Gusto, Spanish-language participant book is available any may be used for the self-directed program.
  • Available in languages other than English: Spanish
  • Topic(s):
    • Physical Activity
    • Chronic Disease
    • Pain Management
    • Arthritis
  • Additional Resources:

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