We’re rapidly transforming into an out-of-shape nation. Most Americans spend the bulk of their days driving a car, working on a computer, eating meals and watching TV. What’s the common thread in all of these activities? Sitting. Physical therapists want you to put down your smart phones, minimize your sitting, and make a commitment to your health. With the advent of wearable devices to track fitness levels and so many other resources to safely add more activity into our lives, there really isn’t any excuse to falling victim to a sedentary lifestyle.
Statistics show Americans spend an average of 11 hours a day sitting on their rumps. That’s an alarming amount of time considering sitting for as little as two continuous hours has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, cancer, and numerous orthopedic problems.
Physical therapists, trained to identify asymmetries, movement compensation, and risk for potential injury, are an often overlooked weapon in the battle to spend more time vertical. A sedentary person’s capacity for exercise is an important consideration, one that can be addressed through endurance tests such as the six-minute walk test and three-minute step test. With this knowledge, a PT can create a plan of care to reduce pain, teach healthy postures and movements, and increase activity level.
Increased activity levels can lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle as well as a longer life, according to an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. In a study of the six-minute walk test, study investigators draw a stunning correlation between walking speed and life expectancy.
Many think of physical therapy services when an impairment or injury pops up, however, PTs can be a real asset to those trying to become more active. Despite attempts to educate people on proper movement and nutrition, our society is more overweight and obese than ever and a staggering number of people are suffering from pain and injury. But let’s not settle for that! Make this your month to get moving.
About The Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association
Founded in 1956, the Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association champions the success of physical therapist-owned businesses. Our members are leaders and innovators in the health care system. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) represents more than 85,000 physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and students of physical therapy nationwide. For more information, please visit www.ppsapta.org.
"Physically and mentally as healthy as I can be is my goal. My father lived to 93 and fairly healthy physically and mentally. My mother is 96 years old and is failing mentally and physically. I have watched the good and bad of aging. My chances of longevity is good but I want to be mentally and physically as healthy as I can be. Not until I started working out with Kristi Cruz at A2 did I know how to prepare myself for my road ahead. Kristi has given me the tools and information for me to understand what I need. She has led me by my hands and feet to improve me physically and talked and explained to help me understand the process. Working out with Kristi two or three times per week is a priority and my recipe for good mental and physical health. My name is Geri Markham and I am 71 years old. I feel as fit as I could be at my age. I have to give all the credit to Kristi Cruz at A2 for walking with me through the process. I would recommend Kristi totally if you are interested in learning to be physically and mentally healthy as you move on in life. Life is good thanks to A2 and Kristi Cruz."
"Dear Alika- I want to tell you how great A2 has been in helping me to succeed in getting better after my stroke. Your staff is not only knowledgeable but funny at the same time. They don’t make physical therapy seem tough; but they make it fun by teaching us the right way to stand, asking us how we are and encouraging us to reach our goals. My goal has always been to get back to “normal.” I appreciate all of your staff immensely. They are all great. You always have my recommendation for where to go for P.T."
"A2 staff are friendly and informative. All my questions and concerns were addressed. I looked forward to my appointments because even if I didn’t see my progress, because it was so gradual, the staff here made sure to celebrate every move forward. I thought I’d always have a limp/never recover fully, but I was wrong!"