Walk Your AS Off

Walk Your AS Off (WYASO) is an annual, global and virtual step challenge every May. It's all about getting active for health, raising awareness about axial SpA and raising vital funds for NASS.

Why should I join Walk Your AS Off this May?

By joining Walk Your AS Off (or WYASO, for short), you could:

  • Keep active.
  • Raise awareness of axial SpA.
  • Fundraise for NASS.
  • Become part of a community of people living with axial SpA – join one of our 3 wonderful NASS teams – Orange Apples, AS Buzzers or NASS PAWs.

I’m interested – how can I join?

It’s easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Register to record your steps

  2. Join a team (see below)

  3. Sign up to fundraise for NASS

Register to record your steps.

The Spondylitis Association of America is now running Walk Your AS Off!

The Walk AS One website no longer exists and has been transferred over to a new and improved step logging system on the SAA website.

If you’ve previously signed up on Walk AS One, all your steps will on the new SAA Walk Your AS Off site waiting for you. All you need to do is:

  • Click on REGISTER HERE
  • Click on LOG IN. FORGET PASSWORD.
  • Wait for the SAA to send you their reset password email. be sure to check your spam folder.
  • Reset your password.
  • Continue logging your steps!

Having trouble registering with the SAA? Email the SAA (Spondylitis Association of America). 

Join a team

When you are signed in, search for one of the following 3 teams in the search box and join their Facebook groups to become part of a wider community of people with axial SpA: 

Create your fundraising page and get fundraising!

Click here to create your fundraising page and start fundraising for NASS!

  • When you raise £20, give us a call on 020 8741 1515 or email the NASS Fundraising team to order your t-shirt and a bandana if you have a furry friend keeping you company on your walk! We stock small, medium, large, XL or XXL sizes for men and women – just ask! Sizes are subject to availability,
  • We’ll help you fundraise every step of the way. Last year, 33 people raised a total of £8,500 for NASS – enough to support 850 people calling our Helpline for support with their condition. Can you help us raise £10,000 this year?

Remember! NASS receives no government funding. We rely on your support, and thousands of others like you, to ensure people with axial SpA always has somewhere to turn when someone with axial SpA needs advice, information and support with the help of NASS.

Your stories

Not sure whether to join? Here’s why walkers signed up and fundraised for NASS last year ...

Michelle's story

“I went on a search for support groups and came across NASS. I had so many unanswered questions, so I was so relieved to find a hub that could give me answers and assistance.”

Read Michelle's story
Alex Wise WYASO 2024

Alex's story

“I don’t let axial SpA run or dictate my life. I’ve continued to enjoy trekking in the great outdoors and making the most of the opportunity to be active with the annual Walk Your AS Off step challenge during May.”

Read Alex's story

Monica's story

"When I saw Walk Your AS Off, it inspired me to want to be part of the community that I had found online, and to give me that extra motivation to keep moving on a daily basis."

Read Monica's story
Caroline Brocklehurst & Minnie, Walk Your AS Off 2023

Caroline's story

“Walk your AS Off is a great initiative, as I can tailor my steps to whatever I’m able to manage each day whilst still fulfilling the brief of keeping active and I’ll be fundraising at the same time!”

Read Caroline's story

Kevin Trebell & Arthur, Walk Your AS Off 2023

Kevin's story

“This is my first year helping to raise funds for NASS and I am delighted with the support of my friends and family during such a difficult time. I’m so lucky to be so supported.”

Read Kevin's story
Walk Your AS Off 2023, Abi Cowley

Abi's story

“If you are like me and have never been ‘into’ exercise and you struggle with pain, can I encourage you to just take one step at a time, even if that means just hobbling down the road, keep going, it will help in the end.”

Read Abi's story

FAQs

Do I have to fundraise? What difference would my fundraising make?

No. But every penny you do raise can make a big difference to the lives of people with axial SpA.

  • £10 can enable our Helpline team to respond to a call or email and provide guidance and advice to anyone affected by axial SpA.
  • £25 could help provide a pack of NASS guidebooks for a local axial SpA clinic.
  • £50 could help our team provide 1:1 welfare and benefits support for someone living with axial SpA.
  • £100 could help by contributing towards the cost of one of our weekly My AS My Life sessions to help people living with axial SpA manage their symptoms between hospital appointments.
  • £250 could help us run an online session to help up to 20 people learn how to manage symptoms of axial SpA, such as extreme pain, severe exhaustion and poor sleep.

Someone gave me cash. What do I do?

If you collect donations in cash using your sponsorship form, you can:  

  • Donate via our website. Deposit the money you’ve raised in your bank account and donate online.
    Don’t forget to email fundraising@nass.co.uk after you’ve done this to let us know how you’ve raised the money so that we can thank you properly.   
  • Send us a cheque. Please make cheques payable to NASS and send them to:
    Ground Floor, Unit 6, Cambridge Court
    210 Shepherds Bush Road
    London
    W6 7NJ  
  • Remember to include a note to let us know it’s from you!  
  • Please don’t send cash in the post!  

How can I help raise awareness of axial SpA during Walk Your AS Off?

Here’s how you can help raise awareness of axial SpA during Walk Your AS Off:

  • Got a story to tell? Help us to inspire and empower people with axial SpA by sharing your experience with our community. To share your story and why you are taking part in WYASO, email fundraising@nass.co.uk to receive a blog template. Read more inspirational stories written by people with axial SpA.
  • Send us the link to your fundraising page along with a photo of yourself in your NASS t-shirt to fundraising@nass.co.uk, and we’ll share it with our followers.
  • During May, upload your photos and remind your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you. Take lots of photos and share on social media using #WYASO as the tag.
    @National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society
    @NASSexercise
    @NASS_exercise

How can I get a NASS t-shirt during my walks?

Once you raise £20, get in touch to get your orange NASS t-shirt! Call us on 020 8741 1515 or email fundraising@nass.co.uk to order your t-shirt. We stock small, medium, large, XL or XXL sizes for men and women – just ask! Sizes are subject to availability.

Do I have to do a certain number of steps every day?

You can do as little or as many steps as you like at any time during May. It’s just about getting active. Whether you walk 50 steps or run 5,000, it all adds up to our collective team step total.

I’m a wheelchair user – can I still join in?

Absolutely! You can convert time spent in your wheelchair, or doing other activities like housework, swimming, cycling or Pilates, into steps too. It can be all converted with our step conversion chart.

I’ve been recently diagnosed with axial SpA. Do you have any advice for walking with axial SpA?

Yes, we’re here to help. Here are our top tips:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Choose shoes with good grips on the soles so you don’t slip. If you’re walking in the countryside, consider investing in some good walking shoes.
  2. Do a few gentle movements to warm you up before setting off.
    Try gently marching on the spot and swinging your arms for one minute to loosen your joints and warm your muscles before heading out.
  3. Start gently. If you’ve not been very mobile recently, start with a 10-minute walk, and try to add 5 minutes to your walk each day.
  4. Don’t overdo it. Listen to your body and cut back on your walking if you flare. Don’t worry about how fast and how long you walk – just get out there and enjoy the fresh air! Remember, some days you’ll find it easier than others.
  5. Get a friend involved. It’s much more fun walking when you can chat. Or think about offering to take a friend or neighbour’s dog for a walk with you. That way you’re combining a good deed with exercise.
  6. Use an app, your phone or a pedometer to keep track of how far you’ve walked every day. Seeing how many steps you’ve walked each day can really help with your motivation. If you join the challenge with a friend, you can share your steps. Don’t forget to upload your steps onto the WalkAsOne team page! 
  7. Consider trying Nordic Walking. In the UK you can contact Nordic Walking UK and British Nordic Walking. Both have instructors across the UK, and you can join group sessions to learn to walk with poles. Using walking poles can significantly reduce the stress on your joints.
  8. Think about your route and the time of day you’re walking.
    If you can only walk in the evenings, you might want to consider wearing a reflective jacket or walking with a friend.  
  9. Make sure you have enough water and snacks. If you’re walking a longer distance, make sure you have enough provisions with you.
  10. When you get home, do a few gentle stretches to cool down. Check out our ‘Stretches in the kitchen’ video on our YouTube channel, NASSCentral.

Does NASS organise Walk Your AS Off?

No. This year, Walk Your AS Off will be organised by the Spondylitis Association of America. Thank you to Walk As One for all the amazing work they have done since 2015 to mobilise and motivate a global community to raise awareness and address the challenges of those affected by axial Spondyloarthritis and its family of related conditions.

The impact of your support

  • £10 can enable our Helpline team to respond to a call or email and provide guidance and advice to anyone affected by axial SpA.
  • £25 could help provide a pack of NASS guidebooks for a local axial SpA clinic.
  • £50 could help our team provide 1:1 welfare and benefits support for someone living with axial SpA.
  • £100 could help by contributing towards the cost of one of our weekly My AS My Life sessions to help people living with axial SpA manage their symptoms between hospital appointments.
  • £250 could help us run an online session to help up to 20 people learn how to manage symptoms of axial SpA, such as extreme pain, severe exhaustion and poor sleep.

We urgently need your support

Your support for NASS and people with axial SpA is more critical than ever:

  • As the NHS recovers from the pandemic, 67% of people with axial SpA are being left to cope with debilitating pain, exhaustion and fatigue alone.
  • The current economic climate has meant that we have seen a reduction in fundraising income.
  • With a cost-of-living crisis, more people than ever need support to claim life-changing disability benefits they are entitled to.

Axial SpA works silently. We don’t.

Axial SpA is an inflammatory condition of the spine and joints.  Inflammation where muscles attach to the bones, causes extreme pain. It’s an invisible and often misdiagnosed condition. Often leaving people feeling powerless, in increasing pain and extreme exhaustion. If left untreated, it can permanently fuse bones together.

NASS is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting people with axial SpA. NASS doesn’t receive any statutory funding. We rely on your kindness and generosity, and other people like you, to help us transform the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with axial SpA and help more people live well with the condition sooner.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about Walk Your AS Off, please email fundraising@nass.co.uk or call 020 8741 1515 and press option 2.

Contact the fundraising team

Other ways to fundraise

Super Summer Prize Draw 2024

Enter online NASS Summer Prize Draw 2024! Help raise funds for NASS and get the chance to win £500, £125 or £50! The raffle will close on 29 August at 11:55pm. The raffle will be drawn automatically via email at 2am on Friday 30 August 2024. Raffle tickets are only available to buy online.

Enter today
  • 220k

    Adults in the UK

    1 in 200 of the adult population in the UK have axial SpA (AS). That's twice as many as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease.

  • 24

    Average age

    Axial SpA (AS) is a condition that affects young people. Symptoms start late teens to early twenties, with the average age of onset being 24.

  • 8.5

    Years to diagnosis

    The current average delay to diagnosis from when symptoms start is 8.5 years, by which irreversible damage to the spine may have occurred.

  • 59%

    Mental health

    59% of people with axial SpA (AS) report experiencing mental health problems compared to 25% of those with musculoskeletal conditions overall.