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.
"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."
"Last Sunday I played full court basketball for the first time in 15 years. I will qualify the contest by saying it happened on a court just out of the back door of an elder care center. The teams consisted of a 7 year old, an d8 year old, a young woman in flip-flops (I played in sandals), a woman who proudly stated she was 55 years old (I retorted with my age of 65), and a couple of other young guys that really played well. I ran the court, I played defense, blocked shots, made shots (missed a lot), got lots of rebounds, and talked a lot of smack while playing with a group of people a lot younger than me. I even made a behind the back-twisting fall-away shot, then fell and tumbled on the court. I jumped up and continued to play, and we played for about 45 minutes.
I attribute my ability to play this game that I love so much again to the excellent training receive from Kristy who is a trainer at A2 Physical Therapy. I have worked out and trained since I was very young. I played high school basketball, baseball, and I ran track. I spent 20 years in the Army with all the training requirements associated with that occupation. I played on community and city leagues, and I have trained with weights for many years. The training program Kristy has devised for me at A2 is rigorous, thorough, diverse, fun, challenging, and focused. She prepares workout plans that are age and fitness level appropriate. My work out now is so much different then it was when I first started. She both trains me individually and as a couple. I run, jump, stretch, lift, balance, squat, push, pull, and every other movement you can imagine. I look forward to going to my workout every time. Kristy is completely in charge of every workout. I am retired, and my training at A2 allows me to fill the need to accomplish something positive every day I work out. I am doing physical activity with ease that I would not have thought I would be able be able to accomplish at the age of 65 such as hiking on Mt Rainer and running 4 days per week. Kristy and A2 have really changed my life…"
"I had a great time coming in to A2 every week. Everyone was really helpful and fun to be around. The exercises we did made a huge difference in getting my body and confidence back to shape. Next time I'm injured, I will know just where to go. Thank you!"