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.
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