Exercise as an Occupation
Date: 04/08/2015 Host: @clairehannah3
#OTalk on 4th August will be hosted by @clairehannah3 on the topic of Exercise as an Occupation.
Please see the introduction Claire has written on the topic.
Topic – Exercise and physical activity as an occupation
My name is Claire Passmore and I am currently undertaking the MSc in Occupational Therapy at the University of Cumbria.
As a keen participant in physical exercise on a regular basis (when uni assignments allow!!), exercise is a meaningful occupation to myself. There are several reasons or motivating factors that encourage me to take part in exercise and physical activities. These include weight loss; improve fitness and the feel good factor associated with taking part in physical activity – increased self-esteem and confidence and generally feeling healthier and more positive.
When working with clients in occupational therapy practice in my previous role as an occupational therapy technical instructor in an acute medical setting, as well as a student OT in community adult and community paediatric settings, exercise and physical activity as an occupation has been something that has rarely been discussed with clients.
However, one setting of which I have experienced exercise and physical activity discussed as an occupation, is within the cardiac rehabilitation team that I worked with in my role as an occupational therapy technical instructor. A big part of this specific cardiac rehabilitation programme, and others like it is an exercise programme designed by both the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist, whereby participants take part in order to improve their cardiovascular fitness and overall health.
Exercise and physical activity are becoming an increasingly significant part of so many people’s lives, particularly with so much emphasis on the health benefits of taking part in physical activity (NHS Choices, 2015a). Physical activity recommendations advise adults to achieve a total of at least 150 minutes over a week, of at least moderate activity, in bouts of at least 10 minute duration (NHS Choices, 2015b). It was reported in 2012 in the Health Survey for England (2012) that 67% of men and 55% of women, in England, met these recommendations, however, although these statistics could be viewed as somewhat significant, it makes me question why these percentages are not higher.
This brings me on to the reason I wanted to discuss exercise as an occupation in this week’s #OTalk. I wanted to explore how exercise and physical activity are incorporated in to occupational therapy practice and how OTs play a part in the promotion of participation in physical activity and exercise.
Several questions that may get you thinking:
- Is exercise and physical activity viewed more from a leisure aspect of daily activities, or can it be viewed as productivity or self care also?
- Is exercise and physical activity, as a meaningful occupation, incorporated in to OT practice? If so, what are the settings in which it is incorporated?
- If not, why not? What are the reasons for this?
- How can we incorporate exercise and physical activity as an occupation in OT practice?
- How can we empower clients to fulfil exercise and physical activity as a meaningful occupation?
Department of Health (2011) Physical activity guidelines for adults (19-64): Factsheet 4. Available at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_127931
NHS Choices (2015a) Benefits of Exercise. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Whybeactive.aspx (Accessed on: 28th July 2015)
NHS Choices (2015b) Physical activity guidelines for adults. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/fitness/pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx (Accessed on 28th July 2015)
The Health Survey for England (2012) The Health and Social Care Information Centre. Available at: http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13218
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#OTalk Transcript – 4 August 2015 – PDF of Transcript