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4 Major Demand Drivers for Physical Therapy Services

  1. capstone_project_expert
    Physical Inactivity
    Inadequate levels of physical activity are associated with poor health and higher rates of illness, representing $117 billion in annual healthcare costs

    Growing Awareness

    Growth in awareness regarding the benefits of physical activity has led to an increase in the proportion of U.S. adults who meet the CDCís aerobic physical activity guidelines, which has expanded from 44% in 2008 to 54% in 2018

    Desire for Active Lifestyle

    There is also a growing desire to lead an active lifestyle later in life among many U.S. adults: The percentage of Americans between the ages of 45 and 65 who meet aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity guidelines increased from 16% in 2008 to 21% in 2017

    Ageing Population

    During the coming decades, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will increase sharply, supporting higher utilization of outpatient physical therapy services. Americans older than 65 years of age are forecasted to account for ~23% of the total population by 2060, compared to ~17% in 2020. Between 1959 and 2018, U.S. life expectancy increased from 70 to 79 years of age, and although improvement is slowing, advances in research focused on curing infectious disease as well as ongoing reductions in accidental deaths will support continued growth in life expectancy.
    Recovering from an injury or illness can be particularly challenging for older adults due to natural age-related declines in strength and coordination as well as more prevalent occurrences of chronic pain. Physical therapy is well-positioned to play an important role as the population ages, not only by assisting in care and recovery but also as a preventive measure designed to support independent, healthy living.
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