Welcome to the Be Active Your Way blog, the official blog of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG). Follow the Be Active Your Way blog to learn what organizations across the nation are doing to help Americans be more physically active. Learn more about this blog.

Everyone deserves the right to clear, easy-to-understand health info. RT if you agree! #HealthLit http://thndr.it/1tdMqEJ

Everyone deserves the right to clear, easy-to-understand health info. RT if you agree! #HealthLit http://thndr.it/1tdMqEJ

Commit to Inclusion

Written by NCHPAD

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, the American Association on Health and Disability, and the Center on Disability at the Public Health Institute recently joined the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN) to launch the national Commit to Inclusion campaign. The goal of the campaign is to encourage individuals, organizations and key stakeholders to help build healthy, inclusive communities. The Commit to Inclusion campaign was launched as a call to action following the “White House Summit and Research Forum on Improved Health and Fitness for Americans with Disabilities,” co-sponsored by PCFSN and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. 

image

Commit to Inclusion is a campaign that supports the implementation of Guidelines for Disability Inclusion and programming like “I Can Do It, You Can Do It” to empower people with disability to lead healthy, active lifestyles.  While there will always be a need for specialized health promotion interventions targeting specific disability groups, there is a need to promote more inclusive programming to address the obesity epidemic in the United States. Obesity rates are higher for adults (58%) and children (38%) with disability compared to those without disability.  Physical activity can provide individuals with disability the strength and stamina required to participate in all aspects of life successfully.

Read More

Health Literacy Month - Join our Thunderclap today!

9 in 10 Americans have difficulty understanding health information. This Health Literacy Month, join ODPHP’s Thunderclap campaign in support of clear, easy-to-understand health information. It will take no more than a minute of your time - and there are only three days left!

And while we’re on the subject, how can we address health literacy when promoting physical activity in our communities? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

Written by Karen Mueller, PT, DPT, PhD, Chair of the Hospice and Palliative Care Special Interest Group, APTA Oncology Section

With the approach of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 11, it is the perfect time to recognize the important role physical activity can play for this often-underserved population, and to note the wealth of information that is available online.

Studies of patients who are in hospice care suggest that desire to maintain a level of activity does not diminish at the end of life. In fact, most of these patients state that the ability to walk, sit up, and function independently in the bathroom are of great importance to their quality of life.

To promote the value of activity in patients at the end of life, the American Physical Therapy Association Hospice and Palliative Care Special Interest Group (APTA HPC-SIG) was formed in 2008. It provides the public with information and emerging research findings that support the value of activity. APTA HPC-SIG represents more than 60 physical therapists (PTs) practicing in hospice and palliative care settings that include hospitals, home health, and assisted living centers. These PTs promote the value of activity through community and professional-group presentations, published research, and web-based education.

The APTA HPC -SIG website offers members’ insights, as well as links to organizations with the same goals, including the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Center to Advance Palliative Care.

Jake, a 60-year-old rancher with terminal brain tumor, was a poignant example of the desire to remain active.  He wanted to be able to walk to his dining room table for a final Thanksgiving with his family. After a few physical therapy sessions involving gait training with a walker, Jake achieved this important goal, and died peacefully 3 days later.

image

The baby boomer generation is a vigorous population whose desire for physical activity is not likely to diminish at the end of life. There never has been a better time to promote activity throughout the lifespan. APTA HPC-SIG is proud to help lead this effort, which can mitigate health care costs while improving quality of life.

Simple Steps to Prevent Eye Injuries in Sports

Written by Dr. David Geier, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Most athletes think of knee and shoulder problems when we talk about sports-related injuries. With fall sports in full swing, it is important to remember that eye injuries in sports are not only common, but they are potentially very serious.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, sports account for approximately 100,000 eye injuries each year. Roughly 42,000 of those injuries require evaluation in emergency departments. In fact, a patient with a sports-related eye injury presents to a United States emergency room every 13 minutes. It is estimated that sports-related eye injuries cost between $175 million and $200 million per year.

Generally baseball, basketball and racquet sports cause the highest numbers of eye injuries. One of every three of these eye injuries in sports occurs in children. In kids between the ages of five and 14, baseball is the leading cause. Basketball is a common culprit in athletes aged 15 and older. And boxing and martial arts present a high risk for serious eye injuries.

Read More

Building Consumer Campaigns: National School Backpack Awareness Day & Other Events

Written by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

APTA’s vision statement is “Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.” It is both ours and our members’ goal to help consumers make wise choices with their health care and assist people of all ages improve and maintain mobility and remain active and fit throughout life. We take that mission seriously and through a variety of multifaceted, consumer-oriented campaigns, on a number of subjects, we get the word out.

Pediatric back pain, for example, is just one issue on which we’ve focused. As children head back to school and ease back into the daily routine of learning, stuffing their bags each day with heaps of heavy books, it is important to remember the impact the weight of all those books can have on young child’s back. The added pounds can lead to serious issues and back pain. Last week was National School Backpack Awareness Day, and each fall APTA launches a campaign, using a mix of social and traditional media to get the word out about backpack safety.

Launching Consumer Campaigns at APTA

When we launch any consumer event we take a multifaceted approach using both social and traditional media. We incorporate all of our social media properties (Facebook, YouTube, BlogTalkRadio, Twitter, and Pinterest) to extend our reach as far as possible. Whilst our web team is busy coordinating that effort our media relations folks are busy composing talking points, press releases, and other content, and then personally reaching out to targeted media.

Read More

Watches Are Good, Synchronized Watches Are Better

Written by Tom Richards, Senior Legislative Counsel, IHRSA

As a young kid playing various “war games” in and around the wooded neighborhoods of upstate New York, my friends and I always thought it was essential to synchronize our plastic digital watches, like they did in the movies. Of course, we never performed any maneuvers that would require precise timing, but the act of synchronizing our watches seemed to strengthen the bond among friends and make us more accountable to one another. It was a signal that we were in it together.   

I thought of my old friends as I watched the roll out of Apple’s latest world changing technology.

The Apple Watch electrified the mobile health movement on Tuesday with its integration of several health and fitness applications. With its user-friendly interface and elegant design, the Apple Watch combines the utility of health monitoring devices with humanity’s love affair with touch screens. It’s a very exciting tool that surely represents just the beginning of a new era of wearable technology. Unfortunately, despite its relentless coolness, it can’t lift people off the couch, take them for a walk, or drive them to a gym.

As we’ve discussed previously in this space, there is no one solution that will get the world moving.

But we know there is at least one powerful motivator for physical activity that seems to positively impact a great number of people: the buddy system. 

We may be a more sedentary species than we once were, but we are as social as ever.

Read More