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For example, a physiotherapist could:

Deliver one of the general messages, ie. “At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the day one most, preferably all days, can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers”.

Outline tips for making improvements

  • “You could use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator”
  • “You could park further away from your destination and walk”

Explain why these changes are important to improving physical health as well as general health.

  • “Lack of physical activity is the biggest preventable cause of injuries and falls as you get older.  If you exercise regularly, you can achieve the things you might like to such as running around after your grandkids”

The physiotherapist will also be able to refer patients to appropriate services for further information or other health professionals (as appropriate) and offer the patient information brochure:

  • “The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines have more information on the recommended amount of physical activity along with extra tips to increase activity”
  • “You could look up the Better Health Channel for more information.  The website is on your patient information brochure.”


Physiotherapy Specific Health Messages
Key Message 
Healthy eating
  • “People who are overweight or obese have increased risk of developing problems with their bladder and bowel control eg. Urinary incontinence
  • “People who are overweight or obese have increases risk of developing musculoskeletal conditions eg. Knee osteoarthritis
  • Good nutrition is important in aiding the body in recovery from injury
  • Having a healthy balanced diet helps you fuel your body so it can perform at its best
Physical activity
  • The heavier you are, the harder it is to engage in physical activity (physical activity is important in the management of many physical conditions)
  • Physical activity is key to the rehabilitation or various injuries and health conditions
  • Physical activity can help improve mental and emotional health and wellbeing and aid management of chronic pain conditions
  • Certain types of physical activity help to improve bone health
  • Physical activity has many benefits for most women during pregnancy
  • Regular physical activity can help to improve you balance and reduce your risk of falls
Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol consumption can worsen problems related to bladder control eg. Urinary incontinence
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can put you and those around you at risk of physical injury whilst intoxicated
  • Long term effects of excessive alcohol consumption can result in serious chronic illness such as liver disease which has significant impact on your body and physical condition
Tobacco use
  • Smoking has been associated with an increased risk for low back pain/persistent pain
  • Smoking damages your lungs which can have significant short and long term effects on your body and produce distressing symptoms such as breathlessness. This can significantly limit your body’s ability to perform physical activity.
  • Chronic coughing, often as a result of lung disease associated with a history of smoking, worsens pelvic floor muscle function and can result in problems with bladder and bowel control