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Posts tagged: physical therapy

Building a Business Case for Inclusive Fitness

Blog post by NCHPAD

February should be a time for implementation of your New Year’s focused goals and strategies, but are these tactics reaching out to the often most untapped market in the fitness industry— people with disabilities?

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 Pictured above: JoAnne Fluke, Zumba® Instructor

Over 54 million Americans have a disability or activity limitation.  They represent a growing niche market for the fitness industry, but why?  Adults with disabilities have a 66% higher rate of obesity compared to those without disabilities; additionally, only 27.3% of people with disabilities met the Physical Activity Guidelines compared to 46.9% of the general population.  As a result, people with disabilities are more likely to be sedentary and experience substantial barriers to physical activity participation compared to the general population.  Along with the health disparities seen in people with disabilities, this group has a vast spending power according to the U.S. Department of Labor, making them a large and growing market.  

As fitness and health professionals, we all recognize the benefits of active opportunities for the general population, but shouldn’t these opportunities be made available to everyone?  Any effort to address the needs of people with disabilities is an opportunity to market and expand your program to a rising population.  Going beyond getting in the door and other ADA mandates, fitness organizations can benefit from treating inclusion as a value and recognizing differences among inviduals while still empowering those individuals to become active and contributory members.  Here are some tips for creating inclusive fitness environments:

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Recognizing Women’s Health & Fitness Day

Post written by APTA

Physical therapists who specialize in women’s health can help women navigate a host of health and fitness issues that can be difficult to discuss, such as incontinence or pelvic pain.

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In reaching out to women of all ages, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has used social media in major ways to help get the message out. In August we featured a segment on pregnancy and running on our Internet-based radio program, “Move Forward Radio.” The show featured physical therapists discussing research on the effects of pregnancy on a woman’s running form. A July episode featured physical therapists discussing stress-induced urinary incontinence, a condition that might affect as many as 1 in 3 women but is preventable with pelvic floor exercises.

Last year, APTA partnered with its Section on Women’s Health in the #overshare initiative to build awareness of women’s health issues that can be prevented and treated by a physical therapist. The initiative featured a 1-hour program, “Women’s Health Across the Lifespan,” on Move Forward Radio and a Twitter party. An e-book by the same name was also developed to show many health conditions common to women that physical therapists treat. These include pelvic pain and overactive pelvic floor muscle dysfunction; bowel dysfunction and constipation; interstitial cystitis; incontinence and low libido, and pregnancy and postpartum, including how to stay fit during pregnancy.

YouTube videos on various aspects of women’s health and fitness have also been part of our outreach. Here are a few examples:

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