The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating and Preventing Obesity

PLEASE NOTE:  Jeff Worrell incorrectly refers to an award for research when it should be for work with the APTA Legislative Committee.

Obesity has dramatically increased in the United States over the past 20 years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one third of the adults in the United States are obese. Today’s expert sees obesity as one of the next great public health challenges and believes physical therapists can help reverse this disturbing trend. Ira Gorman, PT, MSPH was awarded the APTA 2010 Federal Legislative Award and is an Assistant Professor at Regis University School of Physical Therapy. His research was featured in a paper originally published in 2008 and highlighted in his 2010 APTA presentations entitled “How Physical Therapists Address Obesity in Clinical Practice.” He joins us today to discuss obesity and the role of physical therapists.

When dealing with obese patients, Gorman encourages physical therapists to take into consideration the environment in which patients live and to understand how their environment can impact their weight. An individual working a sedentary job and with a hectic schedule outside of work may have little time or energy left at the end of a busy day to exercise. Gorman stresses that physical therapists can help patients recognize that simple behavior changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away from the grocery store can make a difference. Discover the reasons why Gorman is working to get physical therapists out of the clinic and into the community to address obesity by listening to the full podcast now.

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One Comment

  1. Kevin Spang
    Posted October 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Great article and podcast. A lot of great information. Thank you.

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