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One of the main themes of National Physical Therapy Month this year is centered on physical activity and the ways increasing movement, even moderately, can help people live longer, healthier lives. Physical therapists are in the perfect position to promote health through movement — and research published in PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal can help clinicians tailor their treatment approaches to meet each patient’s or client's unique needs.

The association's journal publishes an abundance of peer-reviewed research, free to APTA members, on topics including physical activity and health promotion, negative perceptions and attitudes toward physical activity, and factors that are associated with higher levels of physical activity.

Here is a sampling of recent PTJ articles on physical activity, covering a variety of patient populations:

Physical Activity in De Novo Parkinson Disease: Daily Step Recommendation and Effects of Treadmill Exercise on Physical Activity
Individuals with Parkinson disease often have low levels of physical activity, putting them at risk for cardiovascular events — but what's the threshold for exercise that could minimize that risk, and could that threshold be reached through treadmill walking? Authors of this secondary analysis aimed to identify the minimum number of daily steps needed to meet PA guidelines for individuals who have not yet begun to take PD-specific medications.

Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior in Cardiac Rehabilitation: Does Body Mass Index Matter?
Researchers from the Netherlands focused on patients in cardiac rehab to look at the relationship between body mass index, sedentary behavior, and physical activity among patients with acute coronary syndrome. The results point to the need to tailor cardiac rehab to help patients with obesity and low levels of PA achieve higher levels of activity after the rehab program.

The Meaning of Sedentary Behavior as Experienced by People in the Transition From Working Life to Retirement: An Empirical Phenomenological Study
Efforts to improve levels of physical activity among retirees may be more effective if they're informed by what the population's perception of what retirement means, and how it changes their view of sedentary behavior. This study shares the results of interviews on physical activity conducted with participants aged 64-75. Interviewees shared perspectives on what might disrupt sedentary behavior in retirement and how loneliness could have a negative effect, among other topics.

A Scoping Review of Physical Activity in People With Lower-Limb Loss: 10,000 Steps Per Day?
It's commonly accepted that people with lower-limb loss generally take fewer steps per day than recommended to maintain overall health, but there's a need for a more in-depth understanding of the factors that contribute to the reduced rates and possible measures to facilitate change: Authors of this scoping study reached that conclusion after reviewing possible research gaps.

Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Skeletal Muscle Strength in Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease: An Isotemporal Substitution Approach
Decreased musculoskeletal strength caused by excessive sedentary behavior poses a significant mortality threat to individuals with chronic kidney disease. This study tracked 108 patients with the disease in a program that introduced more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (10 minutes a day). Researchers found that "a slight increase in MVPA time may contribute to maintaining skeletal muscle strength in patients with CKD."


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