Programs that promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and encourage people of all ages to participate in regular physical activity as a means of improving health, preventing disease and enhancing the overall quality of their lives. The programs may be tailored for specific populations such as children, adolescents, older adults, employees or people with disabilities; and generally explain why physical activity is important, offer suggestions regarding easy ways to integrate physical activity into a daily routine (such as taking the stairs, going for a walk or parking further away than one usually does), describe specific benefits that can be experienced (such as building strong bones, strengthening muscles, maintaining flexibility, achieving and maintaining ideal weight, maintaining cardiovascular health, meeting new friends and improving physical self-esteem), and provide guidelines for the type and level of activity that is required to develop and maintain fitness or achieve other health-related goals.
Programs that pay for or provide equipment, appliances and assistive aids such as mats, rolls/inclines, positioning/strengthening aids, ambulation or balance training aids, stand tables, treatment tables and whirlpools that enable people to develop (or restore) and maintain the movement and functional abilities that are needed to perform activities of daily living. Use of therapy aids allows individuals to increase their strength, flexibility and/or physical endurance.
Programs that evaluate joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, heart and lung function and the ability of people to perform activities of daily living; and utilize the therapeutic properties of exercise, heat, cold, electricity, ultraviolet, water, manipulation and massage to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, reduce pain and restore mobility to people who have been disabled by a stroke, arthritis, back or spinal cord injuries or other debilitating conditions. Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, private offices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centres, developmental centres, home health agencies, schools and pediatric centres.
Programs that provide activities for people who want to improve their strength, flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, reflexes, cardiovascular health and/or other aspects of physical functioning.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.