Support World Physiotherapy Day and get 'Fit for Life'

fit for life

Movement for HealthDid 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.

stop watch and runner on marks

For exercise to make a difference to your life, aim to exercise for 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

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.

The Musculoskeletal ElfIf 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!


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Tracey Howe

Hi I am Tracey Howe. I am a Professor of Rehabilitation Sciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, UK and Deputy Chair of Glasgow City of Science. I am also an editor for the Cochrane Musculoskeletal Review Group and a convenor for the Cochrane Health Care of Older People Field. I am a Trustee of the Picker Institute Europe. I started my career as a physiotherapist in the National Health Service in England. I have extensive experience of assessing the quality of research in Universities in the UK and internationally. I enjoy strategic visioning, creative problem-solving, and creating vibrant, multi-disciplinary environments, through collaboration, partnerships, and relationships, that empower others to succeed.

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