Did you know that Saturday 8th September is World Physiotherapy Day? The day is an opportunity for physiotherapists (physical therapists) from all over the world to raise awareness about the crucial contribution the profession makes to keeping people well, mobile and independent.
Evidence shows that people who stay active are more likely to keep working, engaging in society and enjoying life – and that physiotherapists have a vital role in helping them do so at every stage of life. The excellent work of Dr Mike Evans summarises the evidence so well in a 5 minute video 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?.
Every year, physiotherapists help millions of people prevent non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer through recommending safe and appropriate exercise programmes. They help people be “Fit for Life” – the theme of this year’s World Physical Therapy Day.
People who stay active are more likely to be able to keep working, engaging and enjoying, without having to depend on others. They are Fit for life.
Inactivity causes disability and millions of deaths around the world every year. It can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. You’re never too young or too old to stay active – just half an hour of moderate exercise (like walking fast) every day can make a real difference. For exercise to make a difference to your life, aim to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, and twice a week enjoy some stretching and balance exercises too! This can be brisk walking, enjoying a walk in the park, cycling, going to the gym with friends or gardening. Use every opportunity to exercise when you are shopping, doing housework or cleaning.
If you want to keep healthy, keep moving – all through your life.
Physiotherapist also help people manage the effects of these conditions, along with the effects of ageing, a wide range of diseases, accidents and the stresses and strains of life. The World Confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) has compiled a resource booklet demonstrating the immense contribution of physical therapists.
The Scottish Allied Health Professions Directors (AHPD) Group pledged to introduce new measures to increase levels of physical activity in Scotland, including a standard form of questioning and brief intervention that will be used with every patient, on every visit and embedded into all Allied Health Professional services.
A call to action for every health professional was also launched earlier this year by Exercise Works! In this call to action, exercise works asked every health professional in the world to incorporate the global medical advice on exercise and physical activity and help motivate every patient to sustain a lifelong change to increasing physical activity in their lives.
If you have problems that you think might prevent you exercising, ask a physical therapist, the qualified experts in movement and exercise.
So what are you waiting for? I’m just off to join the other Elves for a brisk walk around the woodland!
- World Confederation for Physical Therapy resource booklet [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- Exercise Works Patient booklet [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- Scottish Allied Health Professions Directors Physical Activity Pledge [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- World Confederation for Physical Therapy [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- Gates A 2012 A Call to Action to ALL health professionals: Giving exercise advice and support to EVERY patient: Part 2. British Journal of Sports Medicine Blog [accessed 6th Sept 2012]
- Doc Mike Evans 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?