For the first time in 2016, World Physical Therapy Day was celebrated in Japan. This year the Japanese Physical Therapy Association (JPTA) cooperated with its members to translate the World Physical Therapy Day posters and flyers into Japanese.

One of the hospitals that took part in the day’s activities was Yamamoto Daisan, which provides regional medical services in Osaka. Physical therapists give treatment and training mainly for patients in the acute stage. Advice is also given to local citizens on how to achieve a better life by prescribing exercise. This is considered one of the most important roles for physical therapists. 

The term, 'physical therapy', is not familiar to the Japanese people. Traditionally ‘rehabilitation’ is used for both treatment and training and many people imagine massage and gait training when they hear the word, 'rehabilitation'. Using World Physical Therapy Day, one of the objectives is for patients to better understand 'physical therapy'.

To accomplish that goal posters and flyers were made available in the hospital for patients and visitors. The materials generated much interest. Although the average length of life in Japan is very long, the approach has recently changed from "adding years to life" to "adding life to years". This is a goal that requires both physical therapists and the general public to work together.