Whether you track your steps with a wearable device or through your phone, knowing how much you’ve walked in a day can be an extremely useful tool for weight loss. Many of our jobs entail sitting for a majority of the day, which can be bad for your body and your brain. However, simply walking and tracking your steps every day can reduce health risks and may even help you lose weight. But how much do you actually need to move around to reap the benefits?
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns against a sedentary, inactive lifestyle and recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes a week of high-intensity activity. In other words, you need to be active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. For additional health benefits, the CDC recommends doubling your goal and fitting in up to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of high-intensity physical activity.
Laura Arndt, a certified personal trainer and the CEO of Matriarc, a health and wellness app for moms, helped us break the CDC’s recommendations into steps. Arndt says a 30-minute brisk walk can get most of her clients “between 3,000 and 5,000 steps, depending on their speed and their gait. However, we shouldn’t be sitting the remainder of the day, so the goal is to achieve another 5,000 steps through everyday activity.”
Authors of a new study on inpatient and skilled nursing facility (SNF) rehabilitation say that when it comes to patients’ own opinions of their progress, an estimated 1 in 3 Medicare beneficiaries are likely to report experiencing no improvement in functioning while they were receiving rehabilitation in those settings. And those rates can trend higher depending on certain demographic and health-related variables.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, analyzes survey responses from 479 Medicare beneficiaries who received inpatient or SNF rehabilitation between 2015 and 2016. Data were drawn from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS), with respondents comprising a nationally representative sample of the Medicare population.
The medical mantra that “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain” got more support Wednesday.
Aggressively lowering blood pressure in people at high risk for heart attacks and stroke also reduced their likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment, a condition that often leads to dementia, a new study found.
“This is the first intervention ever to be shown to reduce the risk of MCI,” said Jeff Williamson, who helped lead the study and who co-directs the Alzheimer’s Research Center at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Patients treated to reduce their systolic blood pressure – the top number in a blood pressure reading – to 120 mm Hg were 19 percent less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment than those whose blood pressure was targeted to 140 mm Hg.
When temperatures spike in the summer, it’s important to make sure you temper your workouts to stay safe, says Sandeep Mannava, a sports medicine specialist at University of Rochester Medicine.
Here, Mannava offers tips to avoid overexertion on exceptionally hot days, which can lead to illness or potentially life-threatening issues.
1. Know your limits
Be aware of your fitness limitations and respect them. If you’re not in good physical condition and not conditioned for activity in hot weather, you’re more vulnerable than a well-conditioned athlete who regularly trains in the heat. Keep your activity low-key and brief, take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of water.
The possibility that physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) could one day gain practice privileges in multiple states without having to obtain multiple state licenses is now a reality. This week, Washington signed on to the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PTLC), bringing the number of participating states to 10, the magic number of states needed to officially establish the system. Next up, actual implementation and an ongoing press for more states to join.
On April 25, Washington Gov Jan Inslee signed the bill that added Washington to Arizona, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, and Utah as states that have agreed to join a system that will allow PTs and PTAs to apply for privilege to practice in any of the participating states without having to be licensed in each state. It’s a milestone for the physical therapy profession that opens the door for increased mobility.
A revised National Institutes of Health (NIH) rehabilitation research plan made headlines when it was unveiled last fall, and now several journals, including Physical Therapy (PTJ), are helping to shed even more light on where it came from and where it’s going.
This month, the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation published 2 articles on the NIH plan, which creates a roadmap for more cohesive, targeted research on restoring function. The articles—one a recap of a conference discussion on how research areas should be prioritized, and the other a summary of the overall research action plan—help to provide context for that core document. In April, PTJ will publish the same articles, accompanied by an editorial from Editor in Chief Alan Jette, PT, PhD, FAPTA, who was a member of the blue ribbon panel that created the initial recommendations for the plan.
For teens with scoliosis, a new study shows specialized physical therapy exercises can improve the curve of the spine, muscle endurance and quality of life, as researchers advocate for conservative management to be added to the standard of care for patients in Canada.
“Currently patients diagnosed with scoliosis are either monitored for progression, treated with a brace, or, in severe cases, offered surgery,” explained Sanja Schreiber from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. “Our study showed that 88 per cent of patients who did the Schroth physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercises showed improvements or prevented progression in their scoliosis curves over six months compared to 60 per cent in the group receiving only standard of care.”
Study focused on a single hospital and reviewed 6,246 scheduled physical therapy sessions
Overall, 15.9% of scheduled sessions never occurred
Nontreatment was highest on Sundays (33.8%)
Authors caution against “quick fixes” such as prohibiting Sunday sessions; assert that PTs need to exercise clinical judgment to schedule when needed
Researchers who tracked a hospital found that, on average, more than 15%–and as many as 1in 3–hospital physical therapy sessions never actually took place, depending on the reason for hospitalization and the day of the week treatment was scheduled. Authors of the study say that’s too many, and if other facilities are facing the same issue, fixing the problem will require hospitals to address their “internal culture and weekend staffing policies” and not just look for quick fixes.
It was just over 20 years ago, and multiplatinum country music star Clay Walker was riding high, on tour with his band, when he experienced a set of symptoms—poor balance, double vision, and what he calls “lazy legs”—that seemed almost funny at first; just some weird, passing thing. On the morning of the last show of his tour, Walker woke up expecting the joke to be over, the symptoms gone. They weren’t.
“That was a scary moment,” Walker said. “But that was when I knew that I should probably get to a doctor.”
It didn’t take long for Walker to learn that he had multiple sclerosis (MS). His first 2 doctors told him that would be in a wheelchair in 4 years, and likely dead in 8. But here it is, 2 decades later, and Walker is still on his feet, still touring, and still living life to the fullest—thanks, he says, to his faith, an excellent physician, appropriate medications, and a mobility “protocol” he learned from his physical therapist (PT).
Everyone knows the old saying about death and taxes being the only certainties in life. Physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) can probably add 1 more to that list: appeals to insurance company payment decisions.
Here are a few tips and resources from APTA, to help you get it right.
Appeals are important …
Yes, the appeals process adds yet another administrative burden to your plate, but don’t forgo the process when you feel that medically necessary services have been denied or partially approved. You have a responsibility to protect the patient if payment for appropriate care is denied. And, remember, you won’t be able to pursue an appeal at a higher level—the insurance commissioner’s office—unless you have done your due diligence and exhausted all other means of reconsideration.