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Every week, we share our favorite health-related stories that physical therapists should be talking about. Keep in mind, these are PT-specific, but offer a consumer-friendly opportunity for PTs to get involved in timely conversation around the web. If you don’t know where to start with social media or blogging, shoot us an email. We’d be more than happy to help you get started! (In fact, it’s our favorite thing to do.)
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There’s no doubt: getting healthy is getting social. Everytime I check Facebook, there’s another friend who just finished a run (and I know, because they’ve posted about it via the Nike run app) or is posting before and after pics from a 30 day exercise program. Health & fitness apps are the fastest growing category in the app marketplace. In fact, there are now 100,000 apps dedicated to mobile health available for Android and iOS, a figure that has doubled over the last two years.
But people new to exercise should proceed with caution when using health apps to lose weight or start a fitness routine. A recent study from the University of Florida found that only one of 30 popular free fitness apps for iPhones meets the majority of recommended guidelines for physical activity. “While apps have great potential to give more people access to workouts that could help them achieve a healthy weight and fitness level,” says researcher François Modavewe, “we found that the vast majority of apps are not as safe as they could be and do not give users the type of well-rounded workouts known to be most effective.”
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Very interesting development in the world of spine research: girls tend to be born with smaller and weaker backbones than boys, according to a new study published in the August issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. Why it matters: the finding may have implications years down the road. As adults, women are up to four times as likely to suffer vertebral fractures as men, and the weakness depends more on the size of the vertebrae than on the density of the bone. Our takeaway? Physical therapists are poised to educate women about the importance of spine & bone health at every age. Safe exercise, weight training, flexibility and balance are all important value propositions that you can share with potential patients–male and female alike.
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It’s August (we can’t believe it either), so it’s a PERFECT time to start droppin’ all sorts of PT-related back to school knowledge. Here are several themes that are top of mind this time of year:

  • Keeping young athletes safe is important all year, but with football, soccer, cross-country, and a slew of other sports kicking off their fall schedules, sports injury prevention is an especially hot topic. StopSportsInjuries.org is a fantastic (and free!) resource for parents, coaches, and players. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for retweetable, repostable goodness.
  • Concussion awareness is a top priority for the physical therapy profession, as evidenced by the APTA’s ongoing work to promote the PT’s role in the management concussions. As school starts, share concussion awareness facts with your patients.
  • September is National Childhood Obesity Month. PTs, use this month to broadcast the ways that physical therapy can promote healthy growth in children and curb childhood obesity in your community. If you’ve been hesitant to host a community workshop or event at your clinic, consider partnering with a local nutritionist or personal trainer. Reaching your community is all about engagement, and this is a very important topic!

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Now get out there and start sharing!