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The physical therapist’s role in physical activity promotion
  1. E Verhagen1,
  2. L Engbers2
  1. 1
    Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO-Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    TNO Quality of Life, Leiden, The Netherlands
  1. Dr E Verhagen, Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO-Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; e.verhagen{at}vumc.nl

Abstract

Clinicians are increasingly confronted with the diseases of physical inactivity. Paradoxically, a promising strategy to motivate sedentary individuals to become more active is the opportunity to encourage physical activity related behavioural change when individuals encounter health professionals. Although health care professionals trained in exercise prescription are recognised as having the potential to play an important role in promoting regular physical activity, their role has been minimal in multidisciplinary approaches to date. Even so, the role of physical therapists has gone largely unrecognised. Nevertheless, because of their training and experience, physical therapists are ideally placed to promote the health and well being of individuals and the general public through physical activity and exercise prescription. Therefore, physical therapists, general practitioners and other caregivers alike should become aware of the physical therapist’s potential in promoting safe and healthy physical activity.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

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