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PTs and PTAs have unique knowledge and skills to lead initiatives to promote a healthy workforce.

APTA supports physical therapist efforts to create, implement, evaluate, and lead new initiatives to introduce population health approaches to transform society. An initial focus in this area is employers, because they are common aggregating points in society for large groups of people.

Among physical therapy's specialties, occupational health and ergonomics is a novel example, which is both increasing in clinical relevance and dissemination by professionals in a range of settings. This relevance can be easily seen by the increasing number of PTs involved in occupational health and ergonomics initiatives worldwide and an increase in demand for improvements in worker health and company productivity.

The following are resources for exploring the roles of PTs in the occupational health setting and how to directly work with employers toward prevention and amelioration of noncommunicable diseases before they become symptomatic, disabling, and costly.

For more information on physical therapists' involvement in the promotion of a healthy and productive workforce, check out APTA Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Occupational Health Special Interest Group.

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How PTs Can Cut Employee Health Care Costs and Improve Well-Being

Apr 9, 2018 / Handouts

Position on Direct-to-Employer Population Health Services by Physical Therapists

Jun 21, 2017 / Position Paper

Health Priorities For Populations And Individuals

Sep 20, 2019 / Policies & Bylaws

Transformation Requires Reinvention

Mar 1, 2017 / Perspective

Additional Healthy Workforce Promotion Content

Workers' Comp Research Group: Early Physical Therapy for LBP Is a Win-Win

Sep 21, 2020 / News

The report, focused on workers' comp recipients, concludes that early physical therapy for LBP improves outcomes and saves money.

Immunization Schedules and Resources

Sep 11, 2020 / Article

The profession's attention to population health must include knowledge and promotion of immunization.

OSHA Responds to APTA by Affirming the PT's Role in First Aid

Jun 5, 2019 / News

OSHA addresses soft tissue massage.

From PTJ: Office Work Doesn't Have To Be a Pain in the Neck

Jan 10, 2018 / Review

Office workers with neck pain may benefit from workplace-based strengthening exercises, especially those focused on the neck and shoulder.

Technological Possibilities, Practical Challenges: Report Looks at Assistiv...

Aug 14, 2017 / News

Assistive technologies to help individuals in the workplace are developing at a rapid rate, but if the promise of these technologies is to be fully realized then thinking around access, user training, reimbursement, and other barriers needs to catch up.

Helping Make the Case for Employer-Sponsored Programs

Aug 11, 2017 / News

APTA is helping PTs and PTAs interested in making that idea a reality for more employers.

Employer Self-Insurance Offers Opportunities for PTs

Jun 1, 2017 / Feature

As more employers opt for self-funded health plans, a growing number of physical therapists are finding ways to benefit.

Self-Insured Health Plans and Physical Therapist Services

Jun 1, 2016 / Column

Should you tap the market? Some points to consider.