Physical activity (FS-06)

Focused symposium

Lowe A1Freene N2Kunstler B3Atwongyeire N4Hazzard S5 
1Public Health England, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 2University of Canberra, Bruce, Australia, 3Federation University Australia, Victoria, Australia, 4Regional Referral Hospital, Mbarara, Uganda, 5Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, London, United Kingdom

Learning objective 1: Understand the unique contribution of physiotherapy and how we can maximise our public health impact through promotion of physical activity (PA).
Learning objective 2: Gain insight into innovative ways of promoting PA at individual, community and profession-wide levels
Learning objective 3: To develop an understanding of the need for change and how we can align professional PA developments with global PA developments to ensure maximum impact.
Description: The session will be introduced by the Chair, Anna Lowe, who will create a compelling rationale for urgent change. Current epidemiological evidence will be integrated and explained along with an overview of relevant global, physical activity (PA) strategy work. Anna will also discuss the whole systems approach required to tackle physical inactivity. In addition, the unique contribution of physiotherapists will be explored.
Dr Nicole Freene will continue to explore this theme by considering current practice, highlighting examples of good practice and areas for improvement. This will include evidence regarding knowledge gaps within the physiotherapy workforce. Nicole will discuss insights from the PA research that she has led in Australia and will identify the implications for policy, practice, research and education.
Breanne Kunstler will consider the actions that are required to embed PA promotion into the fabric of physiotherapy practice. Breanne will discuss her recent peer-reviewed publications that explore the detail of the actual behaviour change techniques that need to be integrated into PA promotion interventions in order to maximise effectiveness. This will provide useful information for physiotherapists who want to develop and implement PA promotion interventions.
Implementation of PA interventions will be discussed further by Night Atwongyeire who will share her extensive experience of promoting PA in Uganda. Night will share insights from her work in a variety of practice settings working with a diverse range of stakeholders. 
Finally, Sara Hazzard will give a perspective from a national physiotherapy Professional Body, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the UK. Sara will discuss the need for change at pace and scale and will describe a recent, national PA physiotherapy campaign. Insights will be shared firstly from the development phase in which the ethos of the campaign was creatively shaped with service users. Secondly from the member-facing phase in which physiotherapists were engaged and up-skilled and finally from the public-facing phase in which physiotherapy service users with comorbidities were targeted. Sara will conclude by describing how the campaign was evaluated, she will share 'lessons learned' and key insights with the audience. 
The Chair will then conclude the session by capturing & reiterating the key themes of uniting as a global profession to address a global public health crisis and addressing the need for change and improvement in the way we integrate PA promotion into practice across diverse practice settings.
Implications / Conclusions:

  1. Physical inactivity is a major public health issue
  2. Physiotherapists have a unique contribution to make to tackling inactivity
  3. Pockets of excellent practice exist but evidence suggests substantial knowledge gaps.
  4. Physiotherapists must engage in sustained activity, using evidence-based approaches, with a range of partners and this activity must be evaluated in order to demonstrated impact.
  5. A coordinated, evidence-based approach is needed that is concordant with current global action plans.

Key-words: 1. physical activity 2. physiotherapy 3. long-term conditions
Funding acknowledgements: nil
Relevance to physical therapy globally: Physical inactivity is a major public health issue, physiotherapists are uniquely positioned to contribute. This session identifies opportunities and challenges for the profession, implications for policy, practice, research and education will be clearly identified.
Target audience: Any physiotherapist with an interest in physical activity and public health, this applies to all regions, all practice settings and all clinical specialities.