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Physiotherapy, Exercise and Health Promotion: We Can Be Doing A Better Job!

May 24, 2016

 

I am probably wearing my Exercise Physiologist hat, more so than my Physiotherapist hat as I write this post today, but I think us physios should be doing a lot more than what we currently do in terms of health promotion and promoting active lifestyles to our patients.

 

The term "sitting is the new smoking", has gained some media attention in the last few years (and rightfully so), in the fact that sedentary behavior has been linked to lifestyle diseases, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Sedentary behavior has also been linked to chronic musculoskeletal pain.

 

In the first 3 weeks of my new job, it has become apparent that my clinical caseload consists largely of the sedentary office worker with acute-on-chronic, or chronic lower back and/or chronic neck pain; and it got me thinking...

 

We physios are too frequently seen as a health professional to go and see in reaction to injury or disability, as opposed to being seen as a health professional you see to discuss options on how to prevent primary injury, and prevent recurrent injury or subsequent injury.

 

And we're in a bloody good position to do so, and we should be doing more of it!!

 

2 years ago, I was lucky enough to hear Prof Stuart Biddle talk at a conference, and the content of his keynote address still resonates with me. Especially on very simple ways on how we can increase the amount of incidental exercise into ours and our patient's day (Eg. sit to stand desks, standing during meetings, taking the stairs etc etc). He also describes the the concept of "nudging" and I love it!

 

This video is a perfect example of what "nudging" is. He recaps his keynote address with Karim Khan from the BJSM in the following podcast and it is well worth the 24mins, especially if your clinical caseload consists primarily of the sedentary office worker.

 

I hope you've enjoyed the blog and the links!

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