Thera-Band® Academy has been supporting clinical research projects around the world for over a decade. The research helps validate the use of Thera-Band products and provides clinicians with evidence to support practice. Several years ago, the First Step to Active Health® program was developed in response to a “call to action” by the National Blueprint to Increase Physical Activity Among Older Adults for medical professionals to provide evidence-based physical activity programs for sedentary older adults. The First Step to Active Health kit contains a well-rounded exercise program with a Thera-Band resistance band and illustrated exercises for flexibility, strength and balance activities at home.

While physicians are the most influential at encouraging people to begin exercising, less than 50% of physicians recommend exercise as part of their patient’s treatment, and even less among those with cardiovascular disease. This number will hopefully increase as physicians understand that the benefits of physical activity usually outweigh the risks. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has launched a new initiative encouraging physicians to write prescriptions for physical activity through their “Exercise is Medicine” campaign.

German researchers at Ruhr-University in Bochum Germany have started a feasibility study on a 12-week multi-modal home exercise program including Thera-Band resistance bands. General practitioners and exercise therapists will work together to provide the well-rounded home exercise program along with physical activity counseling and exercise consultation, pedometers, educational material, telephone counseling, and home visits. Each participant receives 2 meter yellow and red Thera-Band resistance bands. Participants will be community-dwelling older adults over 70 years of age without serious cardiovascular, metabolic, pulmonary, or neurological conditions. The goal of the feasibility study is to prepare for a randomized controlled trial of the intervention with eventual dissemination in primary medical care.

REFERENCE: Hinrichs T, et al. Feasibility of a multidimensional home-based exercise programme for the elderly with structured support given by the general practitioner’s surgery: study protocol of a single arm trial preparing an RCT [ISRCTN58562962]. BMC Geriatr. 2009 Aug 17;9:37.

Visit the First Step to Active Health program website here

Disclosure: Thera-Band Academy provided bands for this study, but did not provide monetary support

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