September 8: A day designated to Physiotherapy

World Physiotherapy Day is celebrated every year on 8th September since the day it was founded in 1951. In 2021, the day will focus on Long COVID-19 period and Rehabilitation program. World Physiotherapy Day focus on raising awareness among the people and promoting their profession into an upgrade level.

Physiotherapy seems to be an ancient practice. Physical Therapy dates back to the year 1813, when the father of physiotherapy Per Henrik Ling founded the Royal Central Institute of Gymnastics. This organization carried out massage, manipulation and exercise.

Physiotherapy is an ancient practice, deals with human function and movement to maximize physical potential.

Father of physiotherapy, Per Henrik Ling, had one of the earliest documented beginnings of actual physiotherapy. He is the ‘Father of Swedish Gymnastics’ taking into account variations in health status. He used physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well-being.

Why does world PT day matter?

This day marks the unity and solidarity of the global physiotherapy community. It is a great opportunity to recognize the work that physiotherapists do for their patients and community. Reports from around the world indicate that World PT Day activities have a positive impact on the profession’s profile.

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Aims of PT World Day

Using World PT Day as a focus, World Physiotherapy aims to support member organisations in their efforts to promote the profession and advance their expertise.

This year’s theme will focus on rehabilitation and Long COVID-19. This aims to provide and the role of physiotherapists in treatment and management of people affected by Long COVID-19.

World Confederation for Physical Therapy
World Confederation for Physical Therapy

World PT Day activity diary

The activity diary should be used to monitor activities for a week or two. It can help to:

  • find any patterns in activity and post-exertional symptom exacerbation (crashes)
  • discover if there are enough rest periods
  • monitor sleep
  • see if activity can be increased/decreased in the day/week

World PT Day and COVID-19

The focus of World PT Day 2021 is the role of physiotherapists in the treatment and management of people affected by Long COVID-19 and their rehabilitation.

The campaign is focus on the following key points:

  • 1 in 10 of all Long COVID-19 patients will exhibit symptoms for 12 weeks of period or longer.
  • Rehabilitation program is a fundamental part of recovery. Rehabilitation for Long COVID-19 must be tailored to the individual, depending on their symptoms, goals and preferences.
  • The World Health Organization recommends that Long COVID-19 rehabilitation should include educating people about resuming everyday activities conservatively.
  • Effective rehabilitation interventions to support self-management of symptoms may include activity pacing and heart rate monitoring. A physiotherapist can help you manage your activity levels for Long COVID-19 with pacing and heart rate monitoring.
  • Physical activity and exercise triggers Post-exertional symptom exacerbation (PESE). A physiotherapist can help you manage your activities to minimize PESE.
  • A physiotherapist can help you with breathing exercises.
  • Graded exercise therapy should avoid, particularly when PESE is present.

Public events of World PT Day

  • A free exercise demonstration session, i;e, the difference between moderate and vigorous activity.
  • Talks and seminars in workplaces or online, suggesting exercises to integrate into daily life and providing literature to employers.
  • Talks or events at community centres.
  • A roaming information booth, visiting different locations in the day, or over a week.
  • A “health challenge” for the public, politicians or celebrities. For example, challenge them to walk a certain number of steps during the day. You could lend out pedometers for the challenge, or give them away free.
  • Public exercise classes, say in a large city park.


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