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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

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

Jun 21, 2017 / 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

Tools for Establishing Direct-to-Employer Relationships

Oct 8, 2021 / Resource

Health Priorities For Populations And Individuals

Sep 20, 2019 / Policies & Bylaws

Additional Healthy Workforce Promotion Content

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The resolution articulates support for reduced administrative burden and better access to mental health care for providers.

APTA's Commitment to Worker Health Earns It a Spot as Affiliate in CDC Program

Feb 3, 2023 / News

The association will collaborate with agencies, universities, and health care organizations in the Total Worker Health® initiative.

Survey of PTs Finds Feelings of Autonomy and Community Could Lower Burnout Risk

Jan 4, 2022 / Review

A small-scale study of Texas PTs points to the possible importance of psychological supports in the face of increasing job demands.

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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.

Why PTs Should Work With Employers to Manage Population Health

Sep 14, 2021 / Position Paper

There are plenty of good reasons for PTs to work directly with employers or employer groups to manage population health in addition to individual patients and clients.

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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.