World Physical Therapy Day: President's message

Across the world people are simply not active enough. This has significant health consequences for individuals and our collective societies.

Once again, the theme of World Physical Therapy Day is aligned with a key World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan. Our theme is ‘Physical Activity for Life’, and we have produced creative and informative evidence-based resources as part of the World Physical Therapy Day toolkit.

This can help physical therapists and physiotherapists around the world educate, empower and enable their patients, while helping clients and communities take steps to be physically active for healthier lives.

In 2013, a global voluntary target was set by the World Health Assembly to reduce physical inactivity by 10% by 2025. But progress towards achieving this target has been slow.

WHO has launched a draft global action plan to build on previous strategies. WCPT has contributed to the development of this paper which is now open for wide consultation.

World Physical Therapy Day is a key opportunity to demonstrate how we, as a profession, can help people integrate physical activity into their day-to-day lives. The toolkit also provides simple ways to measure physical activity in terms of metabolic equivalents (METs).

It is also a day for us to reflect on how we personally live the message about physical activity. Do we meet the guidelines for our own health and wellbeing? And if not, what commitment can we make in the coming year to get more active?

One of the key outcomes of the WCPT strategic plan, developed as a result of unprecedented consultation with the global physiotherapy community, is that we will have a global influence which brings about changes to health policy and practice.

World Physical Therapy Day, with its focus on how physical therapists and physiotherapists  can educate populations and encourage increased physical activity, gives us a great platform to communicate this message to every patient, client, healthcare policy and decision-maker, and the wider community.

Emma Stokes, WCPT President

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