Why is the Empire State Building Blue Today?

New York City dwellers might wonder why the Empire State Building glows in a blue light today. The iconic building and the Arthritis Foundation hope to create awareness of the disease affecting 50 million Americans. October 12, 2011 is World Arthritis Day.

Creating Arthritis Awareness

The disease costs the national economy $128 billion annually since arthritis is the number one cause of disability in the United States, according to The Arthritis Foundation. Hopefully the glowing Empire State Building will prompt discussions and awareness among lawmakers who delegate funding for medical research. There is no cure for arthritis.

File:Empire State Building blue blue blue 2011 Shankbone.JPGAlthough arthritis begins as an invisible disease, 20 percent of adults and 300,000 children battle joint pain, fatigue and flu-like symptoms associated with the over 100 types of arthritis.

If the glowing New York icon starts discussions and prompts people to ask questions, more people will understand the complexities of arthritis. The disease extends far beyond the stereotypical sore bones disease. A person with arthritis may physically appear well, but suffer from joint pain, swelling of internal organs, nausea, digestive disorders and a weakened immune system.

Improving Arthritis Symptoms

The theme for World Arthritis Day 2011 is Move to Improve. Arthritis symptoms can greatly improve through gentle exercise, muscle strengthening and adopting a healthy diet. Start by taking the stairs, instead of relying on elevators. Or, substitute a salad for a potato at mealtime.

The Empire State Building is no stranger to creating awareness among New Yorkers and beyond. The building glowed blue just a month ago in September to honor the opening of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

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