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  • Walk Time, Not Intensity, May Be Most Important in Stroke Risk Reduction

    A new study has reaffirmed a link between stroke reduction and walking in older men—but the link has more to do with time spent walking than intensity of the activity.

    In an article published in the November 14 issue ofStroke, British researchers report on data involving 3,357 ambulatory men who took part in a 10-year study related to heart health. The men ranged in age from 60 to 80 and were grouped according to time spent walking, among other factors.

    Researchers found that over the 10-year period, the men who spent more time walking every week (8 to 14 hours) reduced risk of stroke by about 33% over those who spent minimal time walking (0 to 3 hours a week). That finding wasn't surprising in itself, but when researchers compared distance/speed data among time cohorts, they found no significant association between distance and risk reduction. In other words, time spent walking mattered more than pace.

    "Among community-dwelling older men we observed … a strong inverse dose-response association between time spent walking and risk of stroke, independent of walking pace, vigorous physical activity, established, and novel risk factors," authors wrote. "Results suggest that total volume of walking rather than the intensity is important for stroke prevention."

    APTA cites the role of physical activity in stroke reduction in resources aimed at patients, physical therapists, and policymakers. Members can provide their patients with a handout on stroke prevention (.pdf, listed under "Neurology"), and can share information on this topic with others by downloading resources at APTA's Issue Briefs webpage.

    PT Research Center Announces Major Contributions From Chapters, Sections

    The first Center of Excellence (COE) in the United States solely dedicated to research relevant to physical therapist (PT) practice received a major boost this week, when the Foundation for Physical Therapy announced that APTA chapters and sections have contributed more than $1 million to its fundraising campaign.

    In a press release (.pdf) issued November 19, APTA President Paul Rockar, Jr, PT, DPT, MS, is quoted as saying that sections and chapters "have demonstrated their commitment to meeting the complex health care needs of society" through the contributions, which will "help provide the science base for identifying the most effective ways to organize, manage, and finance high-quality care and improve patient safety."

    Foundation President William G. Boissonault, PT, DPT, DHSc, FAPTA, FAAOMPT, thanked the APTA chapters, sections, and individuals for contributions that are helping the research center reach its $3 million goal for 2013. The funding will help both the COE and the foundation itself by allowing for expansion of grants and scholarships, he said.

    The foundation is developing an application process for a $2.5 million, 5-year grant to an institution or health systems network to help develop and manage the COE training program. Contributions to the Foundation for Physical Therapy can be made online or sent to its headquarters at 1111 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

    Government Affairs and Public Service Awards Nominations Due January 10, 2014

    Do you know of an APTA member who in 2013 has gone above and beyond to advocate on behalf of the physical therapy profession at the federal level? Is there a legislator, staffer, or public figure who has championed physical therapy causes in 2013? Nominate them for the Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award or the Public Service Award.

    The Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award is presented annually to an active APTA member who has made significant contributions to APTA's federal government affairs efforts and has shown exemplary leadership in furthering the association's objectives in the federal arena.

    The Public Service Award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated distinctive support for the physical therapy profession at a national level. Individuals from the following categories are eligible for nomination: members of Congress, congressional staff members, members of a state legislature, federal agency officials, health and legislative association staff, and celebrities or other public figures.

    Recipients will be selected in February by the APTA Board of Directors and the awards will be presented during APTA’s Federal Advocacy Forum to be held April 6-8, 2014, in Washington, DC.

    Nominations must be submitted by Friday, January 10, to Stephanie Sadowski at stephaniesadowski@apta.org or by fax to 703/706-8536. If you have questions, call Stephanie Sadowski at 800/999-2782, ext 3127.