World Physical Therapy Day was first established in 1996 by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy. They decided that 8 September, the date the WCPT was founded in 1951, should be the date for the annual event. In the 20 years since, World Physical Therapy Day has helped to raise awareness about the potential of physical therapy, and the hard work of physical therapists.
What is World Physical Therapy Day?
World Physical Therapy Day is quite unique when compared to other days that aim to commemorate mental and physical health. Unlike campaigns such as World Asthma Day, which aims to raise awareness about the realities of living with asthma, the primary purpose of World Physical Therapy Day is to acknowledge the hard-work physical therapists do, and the versatility of physical therapy in improving quality of life.
Last year, the theme of World Physical Therapy Day was “Add years to life”, a testament to how physical therapy and therapists can improve not only the quality, but the length of our lives. Building on that, the theme for 2017 was “Physical activity for life”, which aims to remind people to stay physically engaged no matter what age they are. The three main messages the World Confederation for Physical Therapy aims to convey this year is that people of all ages need to remain active; physical therapists can help you naturally incorporate a physical activity regimen into your daily life; and that physical therapists can help devise plans for you regardless of your age.
How to Get Involved
Although the theme and direction are centrally controlled by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy, the success of World Physical Therapy Day relies on people all over the world voluntarily stepping up to the plate. Whether you’re a physical therapist, a patient, or just a fitness fanatic, there are a number of ways you can help promote this cause.
- Social Media: You can follow the World Confederation for Physical Therapy on Twitter and Facebook, and engage others with the hashtag #WorldPTDay. You can also click here to add their logo to your profile picture. Another option is to share some of the content outlined below on your social media pages.
- Around the office: In order to help promote the day, the World Confederation for Physical Therapy has provided a number of free resources for people to use to raise awareness. By clicking here, you can find two posters to print out. One focuses on the benefits of physical therapy, while the other helps people calculate their level of physical activity.
- Public Toolkit: Depending on how involved you would like to get, there are all sorts of other options available in this online toolkit. Here you can find everything you need to make postcards, stickers, banners, t-shirts, and more.