• News New Blog Banner

  • 75% of US Adults 45 and Older Not Meeting Strength Training Recommendations

    Only about one-quarter of US adults over 45 are meeting federal recommendations for strength training—and the percentages drop even lower in certain age and other demographic groups, according to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Researchers for the CDC used data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the strength training activities of more than 333,000 adults 45 and over. What they found was that only 23.7% of the population met the US Department of Health and Human Services recommendation that adults 45 and older participate in activities targeting all major muscle groups at least 2 days per week.

    While no subgroup studied met the goal, variations did exist. Among those variations:

    • When compared with respondents 45-54 years old (26% compliance), individuals aged 55-64 were 10% less likely to meet strength training recommendations. The 65-74 age group was 8% less likely than the youngest cohort, and those aged 75-84 were about 20% less likely to meet the goals than the 45-54 group, with a compliance rate of 20.2%.
    • Normal-weight respondents (BMI of 18.5-24.9) met the recommendations at a 30.2% rate; overweight (BMI of 25-29.9) reported a 24.9% rate, obese individuals (BMI of 30 or more) reported a rate of 19.9%. Underweight individuals (BMI of 18.5 or below) reported a 24.2% compliance rate.
    • Females (21.9%) were less likely to meet the goals than males (25.9%).
    • College graduates had a 34.2% compliance rate, compared with an 18.5% rate among those with high school diplomas only and a 14.4% rate among respondents with less than a high school diploma.
    • Individuals with annual income over $50,000 complied at 30.6%, with rates declining as income declined. Those reporting income less than $15,000 per year only had a 16% compliance rate.

    "Our findings indicate that there continues to be a precipitous decline in participation in muscle strengthening activities associated with aging, and that this decline does not stop at age 65," authors write. "The information gained through this research could be used to help identify which sociodemographic subgroups are most in need [of intervention]."

    The importance of appropriate strength training was acknowledged in APTA's recently released list of "5 Things Physical Therapists and Patients Should Question" created as part of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation's Choosing Wisely® campaign. The list of APTA recommendations includes one that advises against under-dosed strength training for older adults, and instead promotes matching "frequency, intensity, and duration of exercise to the individual's abilities and goals."

    Research-related stories featured in PT in Motion News are intended to highlight a topic of interest only and do not constitute an endorsement by APTA. For synthesized research and evidence-based practice information, visit the association's PTNow website.

    Study: Functional Restoration Initiated Early Results in Big Savings

    When it comes to interdisciplinary functional restoration (FR) for chronic disabling occupational musculoskeletal disorders (CDOMDs), the earlier the better, according to a new study, which found that FR programs initiated within the first 8 months after the disabling event can lead to health care and economic cost savings of up to 72%, or about $170,000 per claim.

    The study, e-published ahead of print September 7 in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (abstract only available for free), examined financial and socioeconomic outcomes from 1,119 participants with CDOMDs who received FR at different points from the onset of CDOMD—1 group 4-8 months afterwards, a second group 9-18 months afterwards, and a third group receiving FR after 18 months. The groups were matched for demographics and injured musculoskeletal regions.

    Researchers looked at outcomes 1 year after rehabilitation and found that in terms of return-to-work rates, work retention percentages, and additional health care utilization, all 3 groups were similar, with overall rates of 88% for return to work, 80% for work retention, and small rates of additional health care utilization.

    However, big differences were uncovered when the authors looked at overall medical costs and disability benefits/productivity losses, with the early-intervention group demonstrating savings of 64% and 80%, respectively, over the intermediate and late-FR groups. Additionally, researchers estimated that the actual cost of rehabilitation was up to 56% less when FR was initiated early on.

    "Early rehabilitation is more likely to be a cost-effective solution compared to cases that progress [for 8 months or more] and receive FR as a treatment of 'last resort,'" authors write.

    In addition to cost-savings, authors write that early FR "may potentially prevent or mitigate the development of complex psychosocial barriers to treatment, including depression, narcotic dependence, and complex sequelae of comorbid psychopathology."

    While authors acknowledge several limitations to their study—for instance, the study did not include the costs of prescription medications used during the postrehabilitation period—they write that the findings "are consistent with the general principle … that one of the 'first principles to avoid delayed recovery' is critical in enhancing cost-effectiveness of care for acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders."

    Research-related stories featured in PT in Motion News are intended to highlight a topic of interest only and do not constitute an endorsement by APTA. For synthesized research and evidence-based practice information, visit the association's PTNow website.

    Limited Space Available for ICD-10 Testing; Application Deadline October 3

    The first end-to-end testing of Medicare's system for processing claims using the new International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) will allow approximately 850 health care providers to see a claim through from submission to remittance advice. APTA is encouraging members to sign up for the program before the October 3 deadline as a good way to gauge their own practice's readiness for the change.

    The testing program will run the week of January 26-30, 2015, and will allow a sample group of providers to work with Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and the Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) contractors to evaluate the system for processing the new codes. That testing process will include submission of claims with ICD-10 codes to the fee-for-service claims system, adjudication of claims, and the production of accurate remittance advices.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is targeting a broad cross-section of providers and will select testing participants based on needs for the study. Volunteers can apply through their MAC's website but must do so by October 3. The MACs and CEDI will notify the volunteers who have been selected and provide them with information by October 24.

    CMS is planning additional end-to-end testing later in 2015, and more information on the testing process is available online. The ICD-10 codes are scheduled to be implemented on October 1, 2015.

    Need more information on what the change to ICD-10 means for your practice? Visit the APTA ICD-10 webpage, which includes background and resources.