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The Biomedical Vital Signs of Lifestyle Medicine

presented by Staci Lyons

Accreditation Check:

Lifestyle medicine is a branch of medicine focused on the research, prevention, and treatment of disorders caused by lifestyle factors such as nutrition, physical inactivity, and chronic stress. Vital signs are a critical component in the medical model of care. To facilitate change, a clinician must be able to know the measurements that objectively document the condition and use those measures as a benchmark for evaluating the success of the intervention. In this course, we will evaluate the key components of assessing lifestyle related disorders and illnesses and recommend key measures that can be integrated into the therapy evaluation and treatment design.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Staci Lyons, PT

    Staci Lyons has been a physical therapist for 20 years and currently owns a group of private practice outpatient orthopedic clinics in the state of Washington. She also serves as the Director of Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness Services for a local public hospital. Her practices specialize in the management of traditional orthopedic injuries and dysfunction, as well as the prevention and management of chronic diseases and lifestyle-related illnesses. During her career, Staci has had the opportunity to teach for Great Lake Seminars on the holistic treatment of the foot and ankle complex and has given several seminars and community-based presentations on the impact of exercise and lifestyle modification on the prevention and progression of many of the most common diseases. She is also active in her professional affiliations including acting as a Key Legislative Contact for the Private Practice Section of the APTA and serving on the PPS Annual Conference Workgroup. Staci received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington State University and her Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Washington.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Importance of Lifestyle Medicine  Metrics in the PT Practice

    1. Importance of Lifestyle Medicine Metrics in the PT Practice

    Research shows that the vast majority of chronic disease and related deaths in the US are directly correlated to lifestyle choices and behaviors. As the industry experts in exercise and physical activity, it is critical that physical therapists utilize their knowledge and position in the medical field to include lifestyle medicine components in their evaluation and treatment patterns.

  2. Risk Stratification

    2. Risk Stratification

    Having a platform to stratify patients according to risk is key to the integration of lifestyle medicine into the physical therapy practice. A critical step of targeting high-risk patients is to identify them. This process will also assist in assessing the appropriateness of exercise initiation and progression.

  3. Body Composition

    3. Body Composition

    The incidence of obesity is rapidly rising. Obesity is highly correlated with disease progression and chronic pain dysfunctions. In this chapter, statistics on obesity and sedentary lifestyle will be discussed and important metrics for evaluation of body composition will be presented.

  4. Cardiovascular Health

    4. Cardiovascular Health

    The cardiovascular system is critical to consider when prescribing physical activity as a component of lifestyle medicine. Two key measures will be defined and their relation to exercise delivery addressed.

  5. Level of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

    5. Level of Cardiorespiratory Fitness

    Dosing exercise is a necessary, but often overlooked, component in exercise prescription. A variety of measures are available to easily assign and measure exercise dosage in the clinical environment.

  6. Blood Chemistry

    6. Blood Chemistry

    When available, blood profile analysis can be a useful addition to the vitals obtained during a physical evaluation. In this chapter, the participant will gain an understanding of these lab values and review how to use them to improve the overall health assessment of a patient.

  7. Other Assessments of Health and Wellness

    7. Other Assessments of Health and Wellness

    There are specific lifestyle behaviors that are known to directly influence health. Several tools are available that can be easily included in your intake process to quantify current lifestyle risk.