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National Arthritis Survey results

What you told us in last year's survey

Over 14,000 of you filled out our 2013 National Arthritis Survey and told us about your experience, the impact of arthritis on your daily life and how you want to receive information.

10 million people in the UK are living with the pain of arthritis every day. We know that the pain from arthritis can be debilitating and that arthritis has a devastating impact on people’s lives. We asked you about the impact of arthritis on your daily life – from household chores to how you get around. Out of the respondents who had moderate or severe pain:

  • 75% reported that their ability to walk was affected
  • 67% were not able to do basic gardening
  • 60% struggled to exercise
  • 56% struggled to sleep well
  • 50% were strained doing their weekly shopping
  • 42% found it difficult to use public transport
  • 41% found getting dressed in the morning difficult
  • 41% experienced difficulties cooking
  • 30% found their own ability to drive was affected
  • 24% were not able to look after their grandkids 

    We also asked you how arthritis affects your ability to work.  10% of you told us that you have had to stop working, and this rose to 18% for 55-64 year olds. Of those still in work:

    • 97% of employers did not refer you to an occupational therapist or physiotherapist
    • Only 5% were given a desk assessment or advice on posture at work
    • Just 6% were given advice on safe lifting whilst at work
    • 4% were encouraged to take regular breaks
    • 11% have had to do a different job, change the way you do your job or reduce the amount you work.

    We are grateful to all of you for taking the time to fill out the survey. Your answers and comments will inform our future work and enable us to focus on taking the pain away.

    Other key stats:

    • 4% of respondents were diagnosed within two months of first visiting their GP with symptoms, but for 41% of respondents it took more than three years to receive a diagnosis.
    • 45% of all respondents and 51% of respondents with severe pain told us that they are using complementary therapies to help manage their pain.
    • 28% of all respondents said their pain affects them walking. This rises to 54% for the respondents aged 75.
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    Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.