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Do You Know Your Movement Vital Signs?

Most people think of heart rate or blood pressure when they think of vital signs. It is common to use numbers to quantify health and risk of disease. The American Heart Association encourages people to "know their numbers" referring to blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and weight. However, research is now showing the importance of moving properly for health. Let's take a look at some of the numbers you can use to quantify your movement health:

Walking Speed

Walking speed has been called the "sixth vital sign" in medical literature recently. It is easy to measure, and takes into account strength, balance, coordination, confidence, cardiovascular fitness, tolerance to activity, and a whole host of other factors. It has also been shown to be predictive of future hospitalizations, functional decline, and overall mortality. Normal walking speed is considered to be 1.2 to 1.4 meters per second.

Push Ups

Push ups are popular to build strength, but a recent study found that they can show us a lot about your heart too. Researchers found that men who could do 40 or more consecutive push ups were at a 96% lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were men who could do less than 10. The push up test was also more useful in predicting future cardiovascular disease than aerobic capacity measured on a treadmill.

Grip Strength

Hand grip strength has been shown to be strongly correlated with health. The stronger your hand grip is, the less likely you are to suffer from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, COPD, and all types of cancer. In the study, muscle weakness was defined as grip strength  <26 Kg for men (less than 57.3202 lbs) and <16 Kg for women (less than 35.274 lbs). Grip strength below these numbers was highly correlated with an increase in disease.

Standing From the Floor

If you can't easily get down on the floor and back up your health might be in trouble, according to a study that looked at more than 2,000 people. The study asked people to go from standing to sitting on the floor and back up with as little support as needed. They found that if you need to use more than one hand to get up and down from the floor that you were 2 to 5 times more likely to die in the next 7 years than someone who can do it with just one hand, or even better, no hands at all.

Moving well is obviously important to overall health and longer life. These tests can give a snapshot of how you're doing. If you're having trouble with any of them, considering seeing a movement specialist - your physical therapist.

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New Jersey locations:

Bloomfield NJ Physical Therapy 44 Park Street Bloomfield , NJ 07003 Phone: 9736852335 Email us

Clifton NJ Physical Therapy  - 1070 Clifton Ave 1070 Clifton Ave #1A Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 973-246-6565 Email us

Clifton NJ Physical Therapy  - 1700 Rte 3 West 1700 Rte 3 West #Grnd Clifton , NJ 07013 Phone: 862-591-1000 Email us

Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy  - Holsman Physical and Occupational Therapy 15-01 Broadway Ste 12 Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-355-5199 Email us

Kearny NJ Physical Therapy  711 Kearny Ave Kearny , NJ 07032 Phone: 201-535-8555 Email us

Rahway NJ Physical Therapy 1600 Saint Georges Ave #107 Rahway , NJ 07065 Phone: 732-428-5566 Email us

Cedar Grove NJ Physical Therapy  408 Pompton Ave Cedar Grove , NJ 07009 Phone: 973-433-0732 Email us

Caldwell NJ Physical Therapy  378 Bloomfield Ave Caldwell , NJ 07006 Phone: 973-968-6002 Email us

Fair Lawn NJ Physical Therapy  - Holsman Children's Therapy Center 15-01 Broadway Ste 14C Fair Lawn , NJ 07410 Phone: 201-351-1682 Email us

Newark NJ Physical Therapy  1060 Broad St #Bsmt Newark , NJ 07102 Phone: 973-457-4232 Email us

Jersey City NJ Physical Therapy  361 Montgomery St Jersey City , NJ 07302 Phone: 201-932-2656 Email us

Paterson NJ Physical Therapy 764 Main St. Suite 401 Paterson, NJ 07503 Phone: 973-705-7255 Email us

New York Locations:

Bronx NY Physical Therapy - 817 E 180th St 817 E 180th St Bronx , NY 10460 Phone: 718-355-9652 Email us

Bronx NY Morris Park  Physical Therapy - 799 Morris Park Ave 799 Morris Park Ave Bronx , NY 10462 Phone: 718-684-6300 Email us

Brooklyn NY Physical Therapy  423 Lincoln Pl Brooklyn , NY 11238-5499 Phone: 347-708-9701 Email us

Brooklyn NY Liberty Ave 1084 Liberty Ave Brooklyn, NY 11208 Phone: 347-586-0625 Email us

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