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PTs and PTAs have unique knowledge and skills to lead employer 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.


Recommended Content

Why PTs Should Work With Employers to Manage Population Health

Sep 14, 2021 / Position Paper

How To Engage in Employer Outreach

Sep 14, 2021 / Handouts

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

Sep 14, 2021 / 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


Additional Healthy Workforce Promotion Content

Tools for Establishing Direct-to-Employer Relationships

Oct 8, 2021 / Resource

This series of questions and checklists can help you prepare for direct-to-employer services.

Workers' Comp Research Group Sees Advantages in Early Manual Therapy for LBP

Oct 5, 2021 / Review

A study of 2 million claims found that, if indicated, early manual therapy is associated with lower costs and reduced days of disability.

Self-Care Is Crucial. How Are You Doing?

Sep 17, 2021 / News

A new campaign from APTA and Hyperice encourages PTs, PTAs, and others to be attentive to their own physical and emotional health.

Self-Insured Health Plans and Physical Therapist Services

Jul 1, 2021 / Column

Should you tap the market? Some points to consider.

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.

PTs and Population Health

Mar 1, 2018 / Column

Envisioning a greatly expanded role in direct-to-employer services.

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.