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PHIT America Welcomes Two New Members to Its National Board

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Navy Cross recipient Aubrey McDade and NFL alumnus Eric Swann join PHIT’s ‘Movement’

WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — PHIT America president Jim Baugh today announced the addition of two new members to its board of directors. PHIT America has already helped more than 850,000 youth become active through its AMPED, PLAY GOLF, PLAY TENNIS and PLAY PICKLEBALL Programs, and is working aggressively toward its goal of helping 50 million youth.

The latest business leaders added to PHIT’s board include retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant Aubrey McDade and retired NFL player Eric Swann. McDade is a Navy Cross recipient, and Swann is a 10-year NFL veteran, two-time Pro Bowl player and only first round draft pick to never play college football.

“The moment I met Aubrey and Eric I knew they would become important additions to our Board,” said Baugh. “These gentlemen have the knowledge and networks we need to impact millions of kids. Their passion for kids’ fitness and health, and the fact that they are leaders in key areas impacted by the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ — military and sports – make them both ideal board members.”

According to Baugh, a 2022 study from the Pentagon shows that 77% of young Americans would not qualify for military service without a waiver because of being overweight, using drugs, or having physical and mental health problems. In fact, military leaders are becoming increasingly concerned that this is a national security issue of potentially epic proportion.

“The physical fitness level of the majority of our nation’s youth is alarming,” says McDade. “Instead of stepping up our efforts to get kids fit, we’re lowering our fitness standards. This must stop!”

McDade adds, “As a retired Marine and Navy Cross recipient, I have seen battle and what is required – both physically and mentally – to withstand it. By the time kids get to high school, it is challenging to change their mindsets. We must encourage and support efforts that get youth addicted to the “miracle drug” of fitness while still in elementary school.”

Baugh further adds, “Last year Tom Cotton referred to Army fitness standards as pathetic and I agree. At one Army base, we are spending $200 million on fitness camps to get recruits fit. What if we used that money in schools to get all kids active and fit? It would help every kid…including those who want to join the military.”

In addition to the impact the “Inactivity Pandemic” is having on national defense, Baugh notes that 90% of U.S. children are not active to CDC standards, and that they are “ticking time bombs” that will overwhelm our nation’s healthcare system when they become adults. This sentiment is shared by new PHIT America board member Swann.

“I share Jim’s concern about the impact that inactivity is having on the physical and mental health of American youth,” says Swann. “As a child, I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Participating in physical education activities during the school day allowed me to burn off the energy I needed to concentrate. I cannot imagine what I would have done without it. Today, far too many schools have little or no physical education.”

Swann adds, “The links between physical fitness, academic performance and mental health are undeniable. I strongly support PHIT’s mission to get physical education back in all our nation’s schools, and the organization’s corresponding efforts to get kids interested in lifetime sports, such as running/walking, golf, tennis and pickleball.”

PHIT America goes to the ‘roots’ of physical activity, school PE programs, to make sure more kids are active, fit and healthy, according to Baugh. “In a study by UNICEF, US kids are ranked last in physical health. PHIT America’s programs are impactful. I look forward to working with our two newest board members to get 50 million kids active, and therefore healthier, smarter and happier,” says Baugh.

Established in 2013, PHIT America is a non-profit organization that leads a national movement to improve the physical and mental health of 50 million children. All data and research sources can be found at IP.PHITAmerica.org. PHIT America is led by Sports Industry and Tennis Industry Hall of Fame Inductee, and former President of Wilson Sporting Goods, Jim Baugh. For more information, visit PHITAmerica.org. 

SOURCE PHIT America

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Exploring the Healthiest Communities in the United States: California Counties Shine Bright

Discover how California’s Marin County leads the healthiest U.S. communities, boasting high life expectancy and low obesity rates in a recent study.

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A recent study by MarketWatch has unveiled a list of the healthiest communities in the United States, with California counties claiming top spots. Marin County, nestled across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, emerged as the healthiest county, boasting a remarkable life expectancy of 85, a lower-than-average adult obesity rate, and a mere 5 percent of residents without health insurance.

The study evaluated 576 U.S. counties using 14 key metrics, including food insecurity, healthcare access, life expectancy, health insurance coverage, and environmental factors like water and air quality. Western states dominated the top 10 list, with Colorado, Hawaii, and Montana also showcasing exemplary county health profiles.

The findings emphasized a correlation between community health and wealth, with affluent areas exhibiting lower rates of food insecurity and higher levels of health insurance coverage. The presence of nature parks in many of the healthiest counties underscored the positive impact of green spaces on well-being, aligning with scientific research on the subject.

However, the study also shed light on disparities, highlighting that residents in the unhealthiest counties face challenges such as limited access to grocery stores, higher rates of food insecurity, and inadequate primary care services. Harris County, Texas, home to Houston, was identified as the least healthy county due to high uninsured rates and poor environmental quality.

In California, 37 out of 58 counties were ranked, with Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties clinching top positions. The data revealed a stark contrast in median incomes between the healthiest and unhealthiest counties, with Marin County boasting a median income well above the national average.

This comprehensive analysis serves as a valuable resource for policymakers and healthcare professionals striving to address disparities and promote well-being across communities. It underscores the importance of factors such as access to healthcare, environmental quality, and socioeconomic status in shaping overall community health outcomes.

https://patch.com/california/sanrafael/ca-has-3-10-healthiest-counties-u-s-new-study-says

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New Study Identifies Increased Fracture Risk for Older Pickleball Players

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SAN FRANCISCO /PRNewswire/ — Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America, and with its increased popularity, the number of associated injuries has also risen. A new study presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), “Trends in Pickleball- Related Fractures in the United States: An Analysis of the 2002-2022 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) Database” found that there was a 90-fold increase in fractures over the past 20 years and most occurred in players ages 60-69.

Pickleball has become one of the fastest-growing sports in America, and with its increased popularity, the number of associated injuries has also risen according to a new study presented at the AAOS 2024 Annual Meeting.

The Sports and Fitness Industry Association identified an 11.5% average annual growth rate of pickleball players over the past five years, with approximately 1.4 million “core” players (those who play more than eight times per year) in 2020.

“To date, there weren’t any studies with a detailed analysis of pickleball-related fractures,” said Yasmine Ghattas, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. “With paucity in the literature, we wanted to determine the risk factors and prevalence of demographic variables associated with more serious injuries such as fractures since these can lead to hospitalization and surgery.”

The research team used the Consumer Product Safety and Commission’s publicly available database, NEISS, to compare a sample of data from 2002 to 2022 to identify pickleball-related fracture trends, mechanisms of injuries, anatomic locations and gender distributions.

A highlight of findings from the study include:

  • Throughout the study, there was a 90-fold increase in fractures, with a noticeable surge from 2020 onward where fractures doubled.
  • The fractures most observed were of the upper extremity in women aged 65+ following a fall, potentially reflecting diminishing bone health of this postmenopausal population.
  • Despite the female predominance in fractures, men were 2.3 times more likely to be admitted for a fracture. This may be a consequence of the anatomic locations and subsequent severity of their fracture which often included lower extremity fractures of the hip, femur and some truncal fractures.
  • Interestingly, there were significant age differences in men who were discharged from the emergency room and admitted to the hospital, which was not found in women.

“Despite its reputation as a low-impact sport, pickleball can pose serious risk for players especially if they have weaker bones from osteoporosis,” said Kurt P. Spindler, MD, FAAOS, orthopaedic surgeon at Cleveland Clinic in Florida. “It’s important to understand your risk profile of injury and to speak with your physician to see how you can lower your risk. For example, if you know you’re at risk for weakened bones, it’s important to build your bone mass as you age with appropriate nutrients such as calcium and Vitamin D and choosing weightbearing activities.”

SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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Sports Injuries in 65 and Older Significantly Increased Since 2012, Projected to Grow by 123% by 2040

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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — According to new data presented at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), sports injuries in seniors have increased significantly from 55,684 in 2012 to 93,221 in 2021 in the United States with significant differences in the types of activities and injuries. The study, “Orthopaedic Sports Injuries in an Aging Population: Currents Trends and Future Projections,” also projected a 123% increase in sports-related orthopaedic injuries in those ages 65 and older from 2021 to 2040 while the number of orthopaedic surgeons is only projected to increase by 7.9% during that same timeframe.

“In practice, we are seeing adults in their eighties and nineties participating in activities that weren’t previously of interest to them, such as pickleball,” said Jay Zaifman, MD, lead author and orthopaedic surgery resident, NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “One of the top findings from our research is a clear potential for disparity between the number of orthopaedic surgeons and the increasing need for treating older adults experiencing sports injuries. There are traditionally different protocols and treatments for this age group. We now need to consider the new higher demands of many of these patients. Taking a patient-centered approach and rethinking our standard of care for more active older adults is crucial.”

Through a retrospective cross-sectional epidemiological study, the researchers looked at sports-related injuries in patients 65 years and older between 2012-2021 in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database. The NEISS collects data from 100 hospitals that act as a nationally representative probability sample of all U.S. hospitals with emergency rooms. Population estimates and projections were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, collecting projections through 2040. The Physician Compare Database was used to estimate the total number of orthopaedic surgeons in the U.S.

Highlights of the data include:

  • Sports-related injuries in elderly became more common from 2012-2021 – There were an estimated 772,973 total sports-related injuries in seniors from 2012-2021, with a mean age of 73.0 and 45% of patients being female. There was a significant increase in the national incidence of sports-related orthopaedic injuries in the elderly from 134 per 100,000 people in 2012 to 167 per 100,000 people in 2021.
  • 123% increase in sports-related injuries in the elderly by 2040 – It is projected that the total number of sports-related orthopaedic injuries will reach 137,852 by 2040, an increased rate of 4.7 injuries per 100,000 people per year. This shows that older people are getting injured more frequently during sports, they are participating in more sports and/or they are participating in different sports in which they are more likely to get injured.
  • Demand for orthopaedic surgeons may outpace availability – The number of orthopaedic surgeons increased from 21,419 in 2016 to 22,206 in 2023, a 3.7% increase. The researchers projected 23,527 orthopaedic surgeons in 2040, which represents a large disparity based on the increased demand for orthopaedic surgeons.
  • Higher participation in sports by elderly – A significantly higher proportion of injuries was associated with biking and scooters and less were associated with dancing and skiing in those 65 and older in 2021 than in 2012. This corresponds to an increase in the popularity of certain sports like cycling and higher participation rates among older adults.
  • Elbow and upper leg injuries increasing – In 2021, there was a higher proportion of elderly sports-related injuries presenting to the emergency room to the elbow (5.3% vs. 3.2%) and upper leg (4.2% vs. 2.1%) than in 2012.
  • Higher rates of fractures – Fractures, hematomas and avulsions were more common injuries in emergency rooms in 2021 than 2012, while strains/sprains and lacerations were less common.

To account for the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on sports-related activities, 2012 was compared to 2019, which showed proportionally less skiing-related injuries and more upper leg and spine injuries than in 2012. Strains/sprains and lacerations were also less common in 2019 than in 2012.

“While we don’t have the data on this, we can extrapolate that it is very unlikely there were actually fewer sprains and strains that occurred in 2021 when compared to 2012,” said Dr. Zaifman. “The patients may be going to their primary care doctor or they’re seeing an outpatient orthopaedic surgeon for these injuries. Perhaps they are more aware that this isn’t an emergent injury, or they’re better educated on the proper location for treatment. It was emergent injuries like fractures that were presenting to the emergency room.”

For information on injury prevention and seniors exercise programs, visit OrthoInfo.org.

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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