The orthopaedic literature is increasingly reporting on the higher rates of complications associated with overweight patients, and many orthopaedic ailments—especially arthritis of the hip and knee—can be associated with weight. A recent study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) projected that by 2030, 42 percent of American adults will be obese, compared to 34 percent now, and 11 percent will be severely obese, compared to the current 6 percent.
If those numbers aren’t alarming enough, media reports claim that obesity is responsible for one fifth of all healthcare spending. As physicians and bone and joint health providers, AAOS members can take a proactive role to help educate and empower patients of all ages—both youths and adults—to “Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!” this summer.
According to the CDC, more than 12. 5 million children in the United States are obese. Obesity can affect a person’s mental, emotional, social, and physical health. Without weight-bearing activity, bone health is threatened, too. Children who play and are active every day build strong bones for life, which is the goal of this campaign.
“When parents think exercise is fun, kids do too. Exercise helps children build healthy bones—and healthy habits—for life. AAOS members should remind families to enjoy an active life together—to ‘Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!’ for better health,” said Michael F. Schafer, MD, chair of the Communications Cabinet.
Take the first step
AAOS members can take the first step in leading the 2012 “Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!” patient/family challenge by participating in any of the following activities.
- Talk with patients about the importance of daily exercise and healthy eating habits during each office visit. Adult patients might benefit from a list of preoperative exercises to strengthen their upper bodies and help them cope with crutches or a walker after surgery. Parents of young children should be encouraged to make the most of time together by moving together. Physical activity tip sheets, how to get in shape for surgery, and how to start an exercise program for people of all ages are available at orthoinfo.org
- Make the message visible. The AAOS and the 2011 Leadership Fellows class have developed a “Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!” calendar for 2012–2013. Each month offers tips on how to incorporate exercises into daily life. A limited number of calendars are still available; why not hang one in your reception area? Email Pat Julitz at email@example.com for a calendar today.
Posters and postcards of print public service ads urging more activity for kids and adults also are available. Each includes an arresting graphic and copy line. For example, “Once, kids played like their lives depended on it. If only kids still did.” “Will they think it is as much fun once they learn it is actually good for them?” “He says it’s no sweat running the latest software. We say what about a mile?” “What’s your body’s greatest weakness?” “Will your bones live as long as you do?”
If you have a television in your reception area, consider downloading and showing the humorous “Sedentary” public service announcement (PSA), produced by the AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. This video, in both 30- and 60-second lengths, humorously depicts all of the things today’s children can do throughout the day without physically moving. “Sedentary” can be viewed on the Academy’s You Tube channel: youtube.com/ameracadorthosurg
- Personalize and send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about your commitment to encouraging physical activity. A template letter is available online at www.aaos.org/prresources (password-protected).
- Focus any speaking engagements on the topic of healthy eating and exercise. The AAOS has a free, ready-to-use PowerPoint presentation that you can tailor to your needs. Download the presentation at www.aaos.org/prresources
- Use social media platforms to spread the “Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!” message. Academy Facebook and Twitter pages will be sprinkled with exercise tips and talking points on the importance of physical activity throughout the month of June. Fan and Follow @AAOS1 or facebook.com/AAOS1 today and share the content with your patients.
- Leverage the “Sedentary” video PSA in your local community. Take the PSA letter (available under PR resources), sign it, and forward it to local television stations urging them to air this public service message.
If you are up for this challenge and incorporate any of the items above in your practice, AAOS wants to know about it. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and share what worked for you and your patients. If you have other ideas on how to incorporate “Get Up! Get Out! Get Moving!” in your practice, share those as well.
Lauren Pearson Riley is manager, media relations, in the AAOS public relations department. She can be reached at email@example.com