Light-Intensity Short Walks Can Prevent LE Vascular Damage Caused by Sitting

Long bouts of sitting can have serious effects on blood flow that could increase risk of cardiovascular disease, but a new study proposes that lower extremity vascular damage can be prevented by walking as few as 5 minutes every hour—and not even at a particularly fast pace.

In a study e-published ahead of print in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, researchers from Indiana University monitored the ways in which the superficial femoral artery reacted to 3 hours of sitting without leg movement, and compared those results with study participants who took 5-minute walks at 2 miles per hour every hour. What they found was that prolonged sitting does lead to a “significant impairment” in endothelial function, but that the short walks prevented the damage from taking place altogether.

Full story of vascular damage and sitting at APTA

‘Movement Is Life’ Accepting Abstracts, Posters

Abstracts and poster proposals are now being accepted for the Movement is Life Caucus, a gathering that will focus on the role of early intervention in decreasing musculoskeletal health disparities among women and minorities.

The 2014 caucus will be held at the Washington Marriott Metro Center in Washington, DC, November 13–14. The submission deadline is October 1, and participants must must register for the caucus to have their submissions considered for possible presentation.

For more information on the caucus, visit APTA

New CDC Obesity Map Shows Rates Remain High Everywhere

And the most obese state is … well it’s a tie, actually.

Mississippi and West Virginia topped the list of states in rates of self-reported obesity, both with a 35.1% rate. At the low end of the scale, Colorado, with a 21.3% rate, was followed closely by Hawaii, which came in at 21.8%. The numbers are part of the annual US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Obesity Prevalence Maps” reports released this week.

The report is based on responses to telephone surveys conducted in 2013 by the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey System (BRFSS), which collects data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 3 US territories.

Full story of the new CDC obesity map at APTA

Education Leadership Fellowship Opportunities Available

New and emerging physical therapist (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) academic, residency, and fellowship directors will once again have an opportunity to hone their leadership skills through a one-of-a-kind learning program now accepting applications.

APTA’s American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education’s (ABPTRFE) accredited Education Leadership Institute (ELI0 Fellowship is a yearlong invitational learning experience designed to instruct early-career directors in facilitating change, thinking strategically, and engaging in efforts to advance the physical therapy profession. The program is a blended learning experience that combines online and onsite instruction with experienced mentorship.

Full story ELI at APTA

Don’t Forget World Physical Therapy Day September 8

There’s still time to gear up for World Physical Therapy Day on Monday, September 8—don’t miss out!

This year the theme is “Fit to Take Part,” emphasizing the physical therapy’s role in helping people with long-term illnesses or disabilities fulfill their potential by maximizing movement and functional ability.

For more information on the World Physical Therapy Day, visit APTA

After Record-Low Rates of Increase, Health Spending Likely to Rise by 6% Annually Over Next Decade

After historically low rates of growth in the wake of the Great Recession, health care spending is projected to rise by 5.6% in 2014, and will likely see average growth rates of 6% 2015–2023, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published in Health Affairs. 

A gradually improving economy and aging baby boomers will serve as primary drivers in the increased spending, which will be offset to a degree by “slower growth in Medicare payment rates mandated by health law, cuts made to hospitals and doctors in the congressional budget-cutting efforts, and the increasing use of higher deductibles in private insurance plans,” according to a report from Kaiser Health News.

Full story of health spending at APTA

CPG Development Proposals Due September 15

APTA will provide financial and training support for the development of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for physical therapist practice, but proposals need to be submitted by September 15 to be considered in this review cycle.

Proposals for CPG development must focus on clinical practice areas that are important and relevant to the practice of physical therapy, and be supported and submitted by an APTA section. Each proposal will be considered individually, and awards of up to $10,000 may be granted based on the relevance to practice and the strength of the proposal.

For more information on the CPG development, visit APTA

PT Researcher Lets Seniors Take a Trip

A new method being tested in Chicago aims to “vaccinate” individuals who are elderly against falls—by tripping them.

Actually it’s not as weird as it sounds. The Associated Press reports that University of Illinois-Chicago researcher and physical therapy professor Clive Pai, PT, PhD is using a specially-built moving walkway that can suddenly shift under a user’s feet, tripping them up and—Pai hopes—triggering subconscious learning that will help prevent future falls. Users are outfitted with a special harness that prevents them from actually falling during the training.

The AP story quotes Pai as saying that the approach could work as a kind of “vaccine against falls.”

Full story of tripping the elderly at APTA

CIMT Can Be Effective for Children with Cerebral Palsy

A newly published meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) supports the use of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) for children with cerebral palsy as an effective intervention for upper-limb function, albeit one whose effectiveness isn’t necessarily a slam dunk over other dose-equivalent approaches.

The study, e-published ahead of print in Clinical Rehabilitation looked at 27 RCTs between 2004 and 2014 that included 894 participants with cerebral palsy ranging in age from 2.4 to 10.7 years. The majority of studies focused on a 5 day per-week intervention over the course of 2 to 3 weeks, and restraints included slings, gloves, mittens, and casts.

Full story of CIMT for children with cerebral palsy at APTA

FDA: Beware of Dietary Supplements That Claim to Speed Concussion Recovery

Think those claims that dietary supplements can help speed concussion recovery sound too good to be true? You’re right. And the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees.

This week, the FDA released a consumer update on companies that market dietary supplements that purport to heal—and in some cases prevent—concussions. The advertising has received more attention with the start of fall school sports, and the agency is stepping up its enforcement actions to warn companies when their claims are false.

Full story of dietary supplements for concussion recovery at APTA