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WCH Physiotherapists Celebrate National Physiotherapy Month

April 22, 2014

Women’s College Hospital’s (WCH) physiotherapists are celebrating National Physiotherapy Month in May by promoting awareness of the importance of incorporating physical activity into your day.

“As physiotherapists, we understand the importance of physical activity. We also know that physical activity is necessary to maintain good health,” said Debbie Childerhose, registered physiotherapist and program co-ordinator at WCH. “Our goal for National Physiotherapy Month is to encourage staff to incorporate physical activity into their daily activities and get moving to stay healthy.”

For many people, staying seated in front of a computer for the majority of the day is quite common. Recent research has shown that sitting without movement for several hours can elevate the risk of getting heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses. Research has also shown that remaining seated can also affect the function of certain muscles and the body’s understanding of whether it should be burning or storing fat and energy. It can also negatively affect a person’s metabolism rate, insulin levels and more.

“We use exercise to empower our patients and put them back in control of their health and wellness,” said Debbie. “In the same way, we want to empower our fellow colleagues with physical activity and remind them that it is possible to fit in some exercise, stretching and movement during a busy workday.”

Many clinical best practices prescribe regular exercise as treatment for chronic conditions. It is as important as taking medicine and following good eating practices for managing most conditions. The following are a few easy tips created by WCH’s physiotherapists on how to stay physically active throughout the work day:

  1. Use the stairs whenever you can, especially if your destination is just a couple of floors above or below you.
  2. If you sit at a desk for most of your day, take some time to roll your shoulders and do some neck, back and forearm stretches to ease tense muscles.
  3. Try standing whenever possible, such as when you are on the phone. If you get tired of standing, practice some calf stretches and knee lifts to keep your blood flowing and provide some relief to your legs.
  4. Set a reminder on your phone for 30 minute intervals to stand up, stretch, rotate your ankles and wrists and take a quick walk.   
  5. With spring here, try to walk outdoors whenever possible. Exit the subway a stop early and walk to your destination or take a brisk walk at lunch around the block.

Physiotherapists work to improve the quality of life of those who have suffered, or currently are suffering from, illness, disease, injury or disability. At WCH they work in several areas of the hospital including cardiac rehabilitation, complex care clinic, endocrinology, the Acute Ambulatory Care Unit, breast cancer surgery, geriatric and rheumatology. As exercise specialists, physiotherapists have the skills to create and implement exercise routines tailored to a patient’s health concerns.

To learn more about National Physiotherapy Month, click here.

Debbie Childerhose
Debbie Childerhose, registered physiotherapist and program co-ordinator at WCH leads a group stretch during a meeting to promote physical activity.
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