World Physical Therapy Day 2014 was marked by physical therapists around the world with a cascade of attention-grabbing activities – everything from potato races to meetings with politicians; from gait analysis in shopping arcades to inter-school quiz competitions.
In Sweden, the day was used to publicise the name change of the profession from sjukgymnast (meaning gymnastics for sick people) to fysioterapeut (physiotherapy). Physiotherapists in hospitals, health centres, plazas and shopping malls spread information about the profession with banners, postcards, posters and brochures.
Physiotherapists in shopping centres offered muscle mass measurement and gait analysis, and in hospitals they offered blood pressure and balance tests, and offered advice on fall prevention. The Swedish Association of Physiotherapists held meetings with politicians ahead of the 14th September Swedish election, and the activities received coverage in newspapers and on radio.
There were widespread activities in Malaysia including public talks, health screenings, events and exhibitions – even a World PT Day cake-cutting ceremony. At the Gleneagles Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, there was an open exercise programme for older people. “It was simply great seeing the enthusiasm and efforts put in by every physiotherapist for the event,” said Ng Choo Bing, a member of the Malaysian Physiotherapy Association working at the hospital. “The theme for the day – Movement for Health: Fit to Take Part – really got the senior citizens into the mood, moving, clapping and swinging their arms to the music. Everyone participated!”
In Jamaica, physical therapy students at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, celebrated the day by carrying out online social media promotion of the World Physical Therapy Day themes.
Undergraduate physiotherapy students at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, organised a day of activities including speeches, a physical fitness programme and a quiz for 72 school children from 24 schools. The aim was to improve awareness about physiotherapy, and enhance biological knowledge, among school children.
The Association of Physiotherapists in Mauritius put the emphasis on the way that physical therapists help children with disabilities participate actively in society, and organised a fun day for them, including bowling, potato races, ball games and music, to encourage children with disabilities to maximise their functional ability.
WCPT has also received reports of World Physical Therapy Day activities from physical therapists in the following countries: Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Ethiopia, Fiji, Iran, India, Kuwait, Macau, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Togo, Zimbabwe.