Movement Vital Signs

Movement Vital Signs

What do you think of when you think Vital Signs ? Heart Rate ? Yes! Blood Pressure? Yes – of course! What about your MOVEMENT VITAL SIGNS?

HOW YOU MOVE is also a vital sign itself! 

Researchers note that moving properly is important for overall health and can often predict future health risk. So – what are some of these Movement Vital Sign numbers you ask? Well here they are!

What are these Movement Vital Signs?

Walking Speed

What is it: Also known as the 6th Vital sign. Easy to measure, and encompasses Strength, Balance, Coordination, Confidence, Cardiovascular Fitness, Tolerance to Activity, and others.

How to measure: Just walk at your normal pace and time yourself  How fast do you normally walk?

What the Research says: Can predict risk of future hospitalizations, functional decline, and overall mortality.

What to look for: ~ 5-7 seconds for a 4 meter walk : 1.2 to 1.4 meters/ second is considered normal

Push Ups

What is it: Push Ups are popular exercises to build strength.

How to measure: Lie on the floor facing down flat Keep hands to the side facing down and push up with your arms at the side. How many consecutive push-ups can you do?  

What to look for: If you can do more than 40 consecutive push-ups – great ! If you do cannot complete 10 consecutive push-ups – talk to us!

What the Research says: Men who could do 40 or more consecutive push-ups had a 96% lower risk for cardiovascular disease than were men who could do less than 10.

Standing From the Floor

What is it: Asking you to sit down and then stand up from the floor

How to measure: Go from standing to sitting on the floor and back up with as little support as needed

What to look for:  If you cannot easily get down on the floor and back up or use more  than 1 hand – talk to us!

What the Research says: People who needed to use more than 1 hand to get up and down from the floor had 2- 5 times greater mortality rates in the following 7 years than those who did it with just 1 hand, or even better, no hands at all.

Clearly, there are many other tests that are Movement Vital Signs, but the above tests are a good starting point!

If you’re having trouble with any of them, consider seeing your Physical Therapist at Orthocare Physical Therapy Center!

We will take a 1-on-1 approach and create an individualized plan to address your movement concerns in a caring and affectionate manner.

Call us today at 703-310-7610 or contact us to schedule your appointment.


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