Thousands of physical therapists across the world are today holding events and activities which highlight the profession's contribution to global health.
Physical activity for life - a personal message from WCPT President Emma Stokes
This year's theme is 'Physical Activity for Life', with events and activities taking place around the globe. The World Physical Therapy Day toolkit highlights the fact that all healthy adults need to be physically active, but, globally, 26% of adults aged 18 and over are not active enough.
“The evidence is unambiguous,” says WCPT President Emma Stokes. “Being physically active is absolutely essential for health and wellbeing. It is also clear that this is a challenge for many people.
“Our lifestyles and the environments where we work, play and learn are not always conducive to being physically active. But there are lots of simple ways to incorporate physical activity into our busy lives. That’s what World Physical Therapy Day is all about.”
Today's action continues the success of World Physical Therapy Day 2016, when the #worldptday hashtag united events across the world. Bangladesh, for instance, organised the largest celebration the country had seen, with large rallies in 65 parts of the country.
In Malta, therapists held supervised exercise classes and a public walk aimed at older adults. Pedometers were given out along with advice on exercise promotion and public health.
In Iceland, the University Hospital offered exercise classes, while Reykjalundur rehab centre had special activities at the swimming pool for patients and staff, and special dancing lessons.
Once again, World Physical Therapy Day is aligned with a World Health Organization (WHO) action plan, highlighted by Emma Stokes in this year's President's message.
The World Health Organization has two classifications for physical activity: moderate, such as brisk walking or cycling, and vigorous, such as running or fast swimming.
“Across the world, more than a million physical therapists have an opportunity to educate, enable and empower people of all ages to increase their physical activity," says Emma Stokes.
"Helping even ten people become more active will have a significant impact on global inactivity levels, so let’s start as we mean to continue.”
However, global levels of inactivity have not been falling as quickly as they should. Physical activity, as part of day-to-day life, can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular health and reduce the risk of conditions including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as improve mental and emotional wellbeing.