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AOCBC-3.1 Data Details

AOCBC-3.1 Reduce the proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who find it “very difficult” to walk a quarter of a mile—about 3 city blocks

About the Data

Description of the data source, numerator, denominator, survey questions, and other relevant details about the national estimate.

National Data Source
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
percent (age adjusted—see Comments)
Baseline (Year)
15.2 (2008)
Target-Setting Method
10 percent improvement
Number of adults aged 18 years and over with doctor-diagnosed arthritis who find it “very difficult” or “can’t do at all” to: walk a quarter of a mile—about 3 city blocks
Number of adults aged 18 years and over with doctor-diagnosed arthritis
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data

From the 2008 National Health Interview Survey:


The next questions ask about difficulties you may have doing certain activities because of a HEALTH PROBLEM. By "health problem" we mean any physical, mental, or emotional problem or illness (not including pregnancy).

By yourself, and without using any special equipment, how difficult is it for you to walk a quarter of a mile - about 3 city blocks?

  1. Not at all difficult
  2. Only a little difficult
  3. Somewhat difficult
  4. Very difficult
  5. Can't do at all
  6. Do not do this activity
  7. Refused
  8. Don't know


Have you EVER been told by a doctor or other health professional that you have some form of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Refused
  4. Don't know
Data Collection Frequency
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Not applicable
Age Adjustment

This Indicator uses Age-Adjustment Groups:

  • Total: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Sex: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Race/Ethnicity: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Educational Attainment: 25-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Income: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Family Type: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Country of Birth: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Geographic Location: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
  • Health Insurance Status: 18-44, 45-64
  • Marital Status: 18-44, 45-64, 65-74, 75+
Caveats and Limitations
Because of the way these joint-specific questions are asked in the NHIS, a direct link between this activity and doctor-diagnosed arthritis cannot be made. However, by restricting the denominator to adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis and focusing on the proportion with a severe activity limitation (i.e., “very difficult” or “”can’t do at all”) in a function typically related to arthritis, we believe this provides an indirect but credible link that is useful for addressing the important issue physical function.


Additional resources about the objective.

  1. Arthritis Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Arthritis Action Plan: A Public Health Strategy. Atlanta, Georgia: Arthritis Foundation, 1999.
  2. Arthritis Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A National Public Health Agenda for Osteoarthritis. Atlanta, Georgia: Arthritis Foundation, 2010.
  3. United States Bone and Joint Decade: The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; 2008.