I have always felt every Physical Therapist should look the part and provide an example of how to remain fit despite the many barriers which try to keep us from our exercise programs. In addition, remaining physically active improves our ability to perform our relatively physical jobs at an optimal level each day. For example, the last patient on your schedule does not care that they are last patient on your schedule and looks forward to the same high quality treatment that your first patient received. In addition to performance, stronger athletes and employees report lower levels of future injury and strength training remains one of our best options for reducing an individual’s injury risk. A recent article reviewed the correlation between a Physical Therapist’s strength and their rates of injury.
Ezzatvar and colleagues obtained information on levels of musculoskeletal pain and exercise participation among a sample of over 1000 Physical Therapists (J Phys Act Health. 2020). Individuals were asked to report on their incidence of spinal and extremity pain, as well as, the frequency and intensity of their strength training workouts. As expected a strong inverse relationship was reported between the incidence of musculoskeletal pain and high intensity strength training participation. Conversely, lower intensity strength training was not found to be associated with injury. Although cause and effect can not be determined from the study design, high intensity strength may create a more resilient Physical Therapist and reduce their risk of injury.