On World Arthritis Day on Tuesday, experts are trying to break the myth that the joint inflammation and autoimmune condition only affects older people.

The Arthritis Foundation of South Africa says at least 50% of South Africans could be living with arthritis and may not be aware.

Rheumatologist Doctor Elsa van Duuren says smoking and a lack of exercise are major contributing factors.

“The most common type of arthritis is osteo-arthritis which most people will get as they get old enough. A lot of younger people get affected by other forms of arthritis that are caused by things like auto-immune disease. It’s a very common disease. Younger people get affected by something called rheumatoid arthritis which affects about 1% of the population. Gout, which is another form of arthritis which is common, affects about 3% of the population. So, one in 100 people is going to have some sort of inflammatory arthritis.”

In the related video below, a group of elderly people living with arthritis share their views on living a healthier life.

They had been working out as part of their annual arthritis awareness campaign: