Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

JAMA Article on Daily Activity for Older Adults

An article appeared today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that: "Objectively measured free-living activity energy expenditure was strongly associated with lower risk of mortality in healthy older adults. Simply expending energy through any activity may influence survival in older adults" (bold added, p. 171). Further, the researchers concluded, "Efforts to increase or maintain free-living activity energy expeniture will likely improve the health of older adults" (bold added, p. 178).

RTs have long known that physical activity doesn't have to be strenuous in order for it to be beneficial. Today's research provides scientific evidence to support that notion. This new research should encourage RTs to provide physical activity programs for older clients. The research is also one more piece of evidence that should lead universities to the conclusion that they must prepare their graduates in RT with a basic background in the provision of physical activities.

I would urge RTs and RT educators to read the article. Perhaps RT researchers will want to do a follow-up study with older clients in RT programs. (Are you reading this Carmen?) The reference is Manini, Todd M. et. al, Daily activity energy expenditure and mortality among older adults. JAMA. Vol. 296, No. 2, pp. 171 - 179.


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