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The Biomedical Vital Signs of Lifestyle Medicine

presented by Staci Lyons, PT

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Lifestyle medicine is a branch of medicine focused on the research, prevention, and treatment of disorders caused by lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity, and chronic stress. Vital signs are a critical component in the medical model of care. To facilitate change, a clinician must be able to know the measurements that objectively document the condition and use those measures as a benchmark for evaluating the success of the intervention. In this course, we will evaluate the key components of assessing lifestyle related disorders and illnesses and recommend key measures that can be integrated into the therapy evaluation and treatment design.

Meet Your Instructor

Staci Lyons, PT

Staci Lyons has been a physical therapist for 20 years and currently owns a group of private practice outpatient orthopedic clinics in the state of Washington. She also serves as the Director of Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness Services for a local public hospital. Her practices specialize in the management of traditional orthopedic injuries and dysfunction,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Importance of Lifestyle Medicine Metrics in the PT Practice

Research shows that the vast majority of chronic disease and related deaths in the US are directly correlated to lifestyle choices and behaviors. As the industry experts in exercise and physical activity, it is critical that physical therapists utilize their knowledge and position in the medical field to include lifestyle medicine components in their evaluation and treatment patterns.

2. Risk Stratification

Having a platform to stratify patients according to risk is key to the integration of lifestyle medicine into the physical therapy practice. A critical step of targeting high-risk patients is to identify them. This process will also assist in assessing the appropriateness of exercise initiation and progression.

3. Body Composition

The incidence of obesity is rapidly rising. Obesity is highly correlated with disease progression and chronic pain dysfunctions. In this chapter, statistics on obesity and sedentary lifestyle will be discussed and important metrics for evaluation of body composition will be presented.

4. Cardiovascular Health

The cardiovascular system is critical to consider when prescribing physical activity as a component of lifestyle medicine. Two key measures will be defined and their relation to exercise delivery addressed.

5. Level of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Dosing exercise is a necessary, but often overlooked, component in exercise prescription. A variety of measures are available to easily assign and measure exercise dosage in the clinical environment.

6. Blood Chemistry

When available, blood profile analysis can be a useful addition to the vitals obtained during a physical evaluation. In this chapter, the participant will gain an understanding of these lab values and review how to use them to improve the overall health assessment of a patient.

7. Other Assessments of Health and Wellness

There are specific lifestyle behaviors that are known to directly influence health. Several tools are available that can be easily included in your intake process to quantify current lifestyle risk.

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