Why World Physical Therapy Day matters

In 1996, WCPT designated 8th September as World Physical Therapy Day. This is the date WCPT was founded in 1951.

The day marks the unity and solidarity of the global physical therapy community. It is an opportunity to recognise the work that physical therapists do for their patients and community. Using World Physical Therapy Day as a focus, WCPT aims to support member organisations in their efforts to promote the profession and advance their expertise.

Reports from around the world indicate that World Physical Therapy Day activities have a positive impact on the profession’s profile and standing with both the public and policy makers.

Many WCPT member organisations already have their own national physical therapy days, weeks and months. However, organisations that have no designated day of their own often choose 8th September.

It is up to individual physical therapists and WCPT member organisations to decide what activities and materials they wish to develop.  That way, they can reflect key national priorities and messages. But each year WCPT provides ideas, publicity and support materials.

We are happy to publish brief details of activities planned by WCPT member organisations. Please send details to info@wcpt.org.

How to take part

How to take part

The campaign for World Physical Therapy Day 2019 is focussed around the theme of chronic pain and the role that physical therapy and physical activity can have in helping people manage chronic pain.

WCPT encourages member organisations and physical therapists around the world to use WCPT’s toolkit to convey these messages to the public and policy makers.

The campaign is focused around the following key messages about the benefits of using exercise to manage chronic pain to:

  • maintain flexibility and movement
  • improve cardiovascular health
  • build and keep muscle tone
  • improve mood and general wellbeing
  • help control pain
  • increase confidence to take part in activities
  • take back control of your life and reduce your fear.

These messages are important not just to encourage health and activity in populations. They can help demonstrate how physical therapists keep people moving through interventions which maximise strength and mobility. Through advice and exercise programmes, physical therapists support people of all ages to achieve activity goals.

If you are an individual physical therapist or planning an activity with your colleagues at your workplace, remember to contact the WCPT member organisation in your country so that you link up with any activities they may be planning.

You can view a full list of WCPT member organisations: www.wcpt.org/members.

The materials produced promote the idea of a global physical therapy community. The day will be widely publicised on social media, using the #WorldPTDay hashtag.

WCPT would like to thank Lisa Carlesso, Jo Nijs, Peter O’Sullivan, and Felipe Reis for their assistance in the production of the toolkit materials.

Get involved

WCPT has produced a toolkit of materials to support physical therapists and their organisations in their World Physical Therapy Day activities. It includes:

  • A leaflet: to distribute directly to patients and the public
  • A poster: to display in public places
  • Two infographics: to display and distribute to patients and the public
  • A postcard: to distribute directly to the public
  • Translations: the posters, flyer and postcard will be available in French and Spanish
  • Social media graphics: a selection of graphics will be produced for you to use on Twitter and Facebook to promote the day and this year’s message
  • Campaign resources: additional information and resources for physical therapists about this year’s campaign
  • A T-shirt design and logo: to download and print locally
  • Stickers: to download and print on standard printer labels
  • Banner artwork: to download and print locally