Canadian program resulted in increasing diabetes educator confidence to counsel on physical activity and exercise.

Akron, Ohio – March 31, 2012 – Through a donation of Thera-Band® Professional Resistance Exercise Bands, Performance Health supported a Canadian best practice initiative to implement an evidence-based, theory-driven resource to address the challenges of physical activity counseling in diabetes clinical practice.

The Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia identified the need to develop physical activity resources as a best practice initiative and key component of quality diabetes care. With researchers from Acadia University, the Diabetes Physical Activity and Exercise Toolkit was developed and is being adopted by the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) as the third volume in a suite of manuals on building competency in diabetes education professional resources.

Thera-Band products were used in the two research projects that validated the effectiveness of the toolkit, now adopted by the Canadian Diabetes Association as “Building Competency in Diabetes Education volume 3: Physical Activity and Exercise Professional Resource Manual.”

“Diabetes educators in Canada are primarily dieticians and nurses who typically do not have formal training in exercise even though the primary intervention to prevent and manage diabetes is diet and exercise,” stated Jonathon Fowles, Ph.D., C.S.E.P.-C.E.P., C.S.C.S., professor, school of recreation management and kinesiology, Acadia University. “The lack of exercise knowledge in diabetes centers across the country provided the impetus to develop an education program that would increase the clinicians’ confidence in prescribing exercise. Giving them immediate access to a Thera-Band band was an effective way to get them to understand and appreciate the benefits of resistance exercise quickly. The significant outcomes of our work are the diabetes educator’s increased confidence and improvements by patients in increasing their participation in resistance exercise.”

“This is a great example of translational research—where research is taken to a successful community intervention,” added Phil Page, Ph.D., P.T., A.T.C., F.A.C.S.M., director of Thera-Band Academy. “We are very pleased to be part of this initiative and I’m not surprised that diabetes educators became more confident about counseling in exercise with Dr. Fowles’ program using Thera-Band bands. We’re very happy to be able to support research with our products that can make a significant change in healthcare worldwide, particularly for a devastating disease as diabetes.”

In addition to the products used in the two initial research projects, Canadian Thera-Band distributor Remington Medical worked with Performance Health to provide the products that were used with diabetes educators in more than 30 workshops.

Fowles continued, “These workshops inform diabetes educators about physical activity and exercise prescription, and focus on the benefits of resistance training. The Thera-Band product provides an immediate instructional tool that we can use anywhere—in any seminar or workshop room—and with just a handful to hundreds of participants who can all do an exercise at the same time. For those not familiar with resistance exercise, this is a very effective technique for them to develop an understanding of what it is and what we should expect our patients with diabetes to do.

“Because of the available evidence supporting the current CDA guidelines, there is a bias towards resistance exercise on machines and with dumbbells. However, if we suggest that resistance exercise is only effective in the gym, we exclude about 90 percent of people with diabetes due to lack of gym accessibility, transportation limitations, and/or cost barriers. Because Thera-Band products have been very effective in getting more people involved in resistance exercise, we have a number of non-gym programs that include both aerobic and resistance components using Thera-Band as their primary tool. We’ve had good results with functional independence, strength and adherence. We haven’t done the analysis yet on the clinical outcomes, but we’ve had lots of success stories from patients themselves. From a practical standpoint, using the Thera-Band products have been very effective in both educating educators about resistance training in general, and overcoming some of the major barriers that have limited the patients’ ability participate in exercise,” concluded Fowles.

About Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia

DCPNS’s vision is to improve, through leadership and partnerships, the health of Nova Scotians living with, affected by, or at risk of developing diabetes. Implemented in 1991, the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia is one of nine provincial programs funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

About the Academy

The Thera-Band® Academy was formed to scientifically document the benefits of resistance exercise and pain relief, guide the company in its development of new products and exercise programs, and to promote therapeutic exercise and pain management through professional and consumer education. The academy website is a unique resource that connects healthcare professionals and consumers to the ever growing body of knowledge on exercise. Registration is free and provides access to the largest database of rehab exercises, protocols, research and education in the world.

About Performance Health

Featuring leading brands like Thera-Band®, Biofreeze® and the new Pedigenix™ Foot Care System, Performance Health offers a broad portfolio of products for the therapy, rehabilitation, wellness, massage, podiatric and performance markets. In addition to market-leading products, Performance Health provides practice building support, evidence-based protocols, clinical and product education, turn-key dispensing and pain-management solutions.