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Posts Tagged ‘National Physical Therapy Day’

Physical Therapists: Experts in Movement

About physical therapy

Physical therapists (known in many countries as physiotherapists) are experts in developing and maintaining people’s ability to move and function throughout their lives. With an advanced understanding of how the body moves and what keeps it from moving well, they promote wellness, mobility and independence. They treat and prevent many problems caused by pain, illness, disability and disease, sport and work related injuries, aging and inactivity.

Physical therapists are educated over several years, giving them a full knowledge of the body’s systems and the skills to treat a wide range of problems. This education is usually university-based, at a level that allows physical therapists to practice independently. Continuing education ensures that they keep up to date with the latest advances in research and practice. Many physical therapists are engaged in research themselves.

About the impact of physical therapy

A WCPT online booklet provides facts, research findings, statistics and articles demonstrating the contribution of physical therapists:

About World Physical Therapy DayPhysical Therapy

World Physical Therapy Day falls on 8th September every year, and is an opportunity for physical therapists from all over the world to raise awareness about their crucial role in keeping people well, mobile and  independent. The day was established by WCPT in 1996, and marks the date on which WCPT was founded in 1951.

About the World Confederation for Physical Therapy

WCPT is the profession’s global body representing over 350,000 physical therapists/
physiotherapists from member organizations in  106 countries.

For more information go to

Physical Therapists Help People be Fit for Life

Be Fit For Life

Evidence shows that people who stay active are more likely to keep working, engaging in society and enjoying life – and that physical therapists have a vital role in helping them do so at every stage of life. This is the message that thousands of physical therapists (known in some countries as physiotherapists) are sending out on World Physical Therapy Day on 8th September.

Every year, physical therapists 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.

Physical therapists also help people manage the effects of these conditions, along with the effects of aging, a wide range of diseases, accidents and the stresses and strains of life. WCPT has compiled a resource booklet demonstrating the immense contribution of physical therapists, available at

WCPT President Marilyn Moffat says the message on World Physical Therapy Day is clear: as the movement, physical activity and exercise experts, physical therapists are a vital resource in helping people remain active, happy and productive – all the way from childhood to later life. “Many people do not recognize the contribution to keeping people healthy and independent,” she says. “World Physical Therapy Day is an opportunity to change that.”

For more information, contact your national physical therapy organization (see

For solutions to the “pains of aging” and more information on how Physical Therapists are using stretching to prevent injuries visit


Physical Therapists Fighting Global Cancer

Happy World Physical Therapy Day 2011. Today physical therapists across the world are celebrating, and rightfully so!

According to the World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) physical therapists (also physiotherapists) worldwide work with individuals suffering from a variety of symptoms or conditions, to ensure their wellness, mobility and independence. In light of World Physical Therapy Day 2011 we want to share this article that illustrates the crucial role physical therapists are playing in the fight against cancer. Join us in celebrating World Physical Therapy Day 2011 at or

Physical Therapists at the Heart of the Global Battle Against Cancer
By Marilyn Moffat, President of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy

This September the United Nations will hold its first ever summit on non-communicable disease- only the second such meeting to focus on global disease. The summit, involving heads of state, is an official recognition that non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and cancer) are an increasing global health challenge. They already claim 35 million lives a year – around 60 per cent of deaths.

For physical therapists, the official recognition that a global strategy is required to reduce this burden of disability and deaths is highly significant. The profession of physical therapy, known in some countries as physiotherapy, helps millions of people every year to prevent these conditions and their risk factors – most importantly obesity. They also manage their effects, along with the effects of aging, illness, accidents, and the stresses and strains of life.

Physical therapists specialise in human movement and physical activity, promoting health,
fitness, and wellness. They identify physical impairments, limitations, and disabilities that
prevent people from being as active and independent as they might be, and then they find ways of overcoming them. They maximise people’s movement potential.

So when the World Health Organization points out that physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality, causing 3.2 deaths annually, and that physical activity can reduce non-communicable diseases, it is clear that the profession has a major part to play. In any global actions that emerge from the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases in New York on 19th and 20th September, physical therapists must be central to plans and implementation.

That is why World Physical Therapy Day, held every year on 8th September, is particularly important this year. It is a day when physical therapists can publicise their work, educate the public and policy makers about what they do, and try and ensure that the public benefit from their skills.

Many people do not recognise the contribution physical therapists make in keeping people
healthy and independent. This year on World Physical Therapy Day, WCPT is particularly
drawing attention to physical therapists’ role in reducing the risk of cancer, and helping people recover from its effects. The World Health Organization has this year drawn attention to the role of physical activity in reducing cancers – 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancers, according to WHO’s new Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.

But the physical therapy contribution in cancer goes wider than that. Studies have also
indicated a relationship between higher physical activity levels and lower mortality in cancer survivors. One recent meta-analysis reported that, post-diagnosis, physical activity reduced breast cancer deaths by 34% and disease recurrence by 24% (Ibrahim EM, Al-Homaidh A. Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis: meta-analysis of published studies. Med Oncol. 2010 Apr 22). Another meta-analysis found that exercise brings people with breast cancer improved peak oxygen consumption and reduced fatigue (McNeely ML, Campbell KL et al. Effects of exercise on breast cancer patients and survivors: a systematic review and metaanalysis. CMAJ. 2006 Jul 4;175(1) 34-41).

I conduct workshops around the world, demonstrating how adults with chronic health problems can improve their health by learning how to exercise safely under the guidance and instruction of physical therapists. Activity has to be introduced carefully if a person is overweight, unfit, older, or has a chronic disease. Physical therapists do this by examining the person, recommending exercises that are safe and appropriate for them, and educating them about how to look for signs of trouble.

This makes them the ideal professionals to prescribe exercise programmes for cancer.
According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue to rise to over 11 million in 2030, yet more than 30% of cancer deaths can be prevented.

Physical therapy doesn’t just mean more healthy people, but more productive people who can contribute to countries’ economies. Their services are provided in an atmosphere of trust and respect for human dignity and underpinned by sound clinical reasoning and scientific evidence. These are important messages that physical therapists want to convey to the world every day, but especially on 8th September, World Physical Therapy Day. The message is clear: physical therapists are the movement, physical activity, and exercise experts and a resource in the battle against non-communicable disease that should never be overlooked.

© World Confederation for Physical Therapy 2011

Join us in celebrating World Physical Therapy Day 2011