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HealthInfo Canterbury

Mobility action programme for osteoarthritis

Hōtaka kori mo ngā tangata kaikōiwi

Keeping active is one of the best things you can do to manage your osteoarthritis. It also helps with many other health conditions.

If exercise came in a pill bottle, everyone would take it! Dr Mike Evans' video, 23 and ½ hours, talks about the many health benefits of keeping physically active.

But exercising when you're in pain can be tricky.

The mobility action programme aims to make it easier for you to keep active and be involved in life.

The programme includes:

The programme has been shown to help people move more easily and be able to do more in their everyday lives. It's designed to help you manage your arthritis as well as possible.

This is a free programme for people with osteoarthritis mostly affecting their hip or knee joints. Canterbury DHB is running the programme with Ara Institute of Canterbury (through The Zone – Ara's sports science and wellness centre) and the Sport Canterbury Green Prescription team. They've based the programme on international guidelines.

During the programme, you'll meet other people living with osteoarthritis. You'll also work with Bachelor of Sports Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion degree students from Ara.

Programmes start regularly throughout the year and go for eight weeks. The sessions are on Friday afternoons at either 1 – 3 pm, or 2 – 4 pm, at Ara Institute of Canterbury, The Zone, Whareora Building, 30 Madras St, Christchurch.

Each session includes a 60-minute physical activity session and an education session about managing osteoarthritis

Physical activity

The programme includes a team of exercise consultants, health professionals and degree students. The team will support you by prescribing exercises that are best for you, enabling you to increase your physical activity levels.

At the end of the programme, the Green Prescription team will offer you on-going support in maintaining your physical activity levels. This will help you keep up the good work you've started.

Education about managing osteoarthritis

The programme covers a different topic each week. Topics include:

During the final session, the programme covers joint replacement surgery. It includes what you can do to make sure you get the best outcome if you have your joint replaced.

To find out more

To find out more, contact the Zone Sports Science and Wellness Centre at Ara Institute of Canterbury by phone, (03) 940-8653, by email,, or by going to their Facebook page.

To join a programme

Ask your GP or physiotherapist if you're eligible for the free mobility action programme. Your GP can refer you for this programme by referring you to Green Prescription.

Written by Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health, Ara Institute of Canterbury. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed February 2019.

Page reference: 362140

Review key: HIOST-35589