Walk Tall!: An Exercise Program for the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis

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Editorial Reviews

Christopher J. Hughes
This brief self-help text is written for the patient or consumer who is seeking information on safe and proper exercise to prevent or decrease the effects of osteoporosis. The book is written in a simple layman's narrative. The intended purpose is to instruct individuals on the type of exercise and the proper performance of exercise for reducing postural and functional deficits caused by osteoporosis. The author states that the exercises selected are safe for nearly everyone. While this is intended as a self-help text, it could be used by physical and occupational therapists to educate primarily (but not exclusively) elderly patients, and reinforce fundamental concepts governing home exercise programs for osteoporosis. The editor is a physical therapist and a geriatric clinical specialist who regularly treats the frail elderly. The majority of exercises reviewed require no equipment except for thera-band elastic on selected exercises. The exercises address specific joints and also are prescribed as exercises that can improve posture, balance, and walking. A continual theme throughout the chapters is the emphasis on the importance of postural alignment during exercises and also with activities of daily living. The strengths of the text relate to the simple writing style, explanation of exercises, simple diagrams showing each exercise, and the brevity of the text. The book can be read in one sitting. In addition, the section on body mechanics is practical and relevant. A weakness is the lack of references (there is only one) to support the program, and a possible over reliance on extension exercises performed on the floor. This text serves the purpose of education and simpleexercise instruction to allow safe and conservative exercise. I see it filling a niche in the area of patient education for persons with osteoporosis. However, some claims related to immediate postural correction may be overstated. The editor's intent to target a large audience through conservative exercise may limit its application for individuals who need more specific and guided instruction by a therapist.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Christopher J Hughes, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: This brief self-help text is written for the patient or consumer who is seeking information on safe and proper exercise to prevent or decrease the effects of osteoporosis. The book is written in a simple layman's narrative.
Purpose: The intended purpose is to instruct individuals on the type of exercise and the proper performance of exercise for reducing postural and functional deficits caused by osteoporosis. The author states that the exercises selected are safe for nearly everyone.
Audience: While this is intended as a self-help text, it could be used by physical and occupational therapists to educate primarily (but not exclusively) elderly patients, and reinforce fundamental concepts governing home exercise programs for osteoporosis. The editor is a physical therapist and a geriatric clinical specialist who regularly treats the frail elderly.
Features: The majority of exercises reviewed require no equipment except for thera-band elastic on selected exercises. The exercises address specific joints and also are prescribed as exercises that can improve posture, balance, and walking. A continual theme throughout the chapters is the emphasis on the importance of postural alignment during exercises and also with activities of daily living. The strengths of the text relate to the simple writing style, explanation of exercises, simple diagrams showing each exercise, and the brevity of the text. The book can be read in one sitting. In addition, the section on body mechanics is practical and relevant. A weakness is the lack of references (there is only one) to support the program, and a possible over reliance on extension exercises performed on the floor.
Assessment: This text serves the purpose of education and simple exercise instruction to allow safe and conservative exercise. I see it filling a niche in the area of patient education for persons with osteoporosis. However, some claims related to immediate postural correction may be overstated. The editor's intent to target a large audience through conservative exercise may limit its application for individuals who need more specific and guided instruction by a therapist.

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780937404621
  • Publisher: Triad Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: SPIRAL
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 8.19 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.32 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2001

    Results attained via these exercises stunned my doctors

    In Walk Tall, Sara Meeks describes in laymen¿s language an exercise program for postural correction and for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, scoliosis, low back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. It also is wonderfully effective for persons, like me, severely afflicted with arthritis. Applying the program that Sara Meeks has put forward in Walk Tall has produced results that have changed my life and stunned my doctors. It has corrected joint instability, reduced pain, and improved my strength, mobility and flexibility. In less than five months, it has added 1.7 inches to my height. The title, Walk Tall, perfectly fits the book¿s purpose, which is to enable a person not only to overcome flawed posture, but also to walk smoothly while maintaining an erect and aligned bearing. The methods by which this goal is to be achieved are explained in eight chapters. Many instructive illustrations accompany the clear and gracefully written explanations. Chapter 1 (Mental Imagery) introduces four visualizations designed to improve posture. In my experience, focusing on these visualizations during everyday activities has indeed benefitted my posture. Additionally, to assure a correct execution of each exercise described in later chapters, I¿ve found it essential to visualize (or imagine) every detail of an exercise just before doing it. Chapters 2 through 5 (Site-Specific Exercises; Balance; Walking; Scapular Stabilization) describe exercises performed while seated, supine (on the back), prone (on the stomach), standing and walking. These exercises are designed to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. In my experience, adherence to this exercise program not only has yielded such improvements but, surprisingly, also has reduced joint pain and swelling while correcting problems with joint stability. Chapters 7 and 8 describe how to maintain good body mechanics during the activities of daily life. A useful Glossary defines technical terms. I¿ve found it and the Index to be helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2000

    Excellent exercise program and practical advice

    The author is a physical therapist who has designed a program for those with osteoporosis. There is a chapter on site-specific exercises, along with chapters on related topics such as balance, walking, and daily living activities. The basic exercises have modifications and variations that make the program suitable for anyone. There is an emphasis on floor exercises, beginning with simply lying on one's back, a position that relieves compression of the vertebral bodies. The exercises emphasize muscles - such as those between the shoulder blades - that are very important for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis, but that are neglected in many exercise programs. There is a a detailed description and a sketch for each exercise. The June, 1999 version has a spiral binding that allows the book to open flat. I am a 58 year old female with very, very low bone density and a family history of severe osteoporosis. After less than two weeks of doing only a few of the first exercises, I had improved posture, less rounded shoulders, and had regained 1/4 inch of the 1 inch height I had lost over the last 20 years. I highly recommend this book.

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