Physical Activity: Movement of the body that requires energy

Exercise: Structured physical activity that is planned with the purpose of improving and maintaining fitness

As physiotherapists, we need to promote that physical activity & exercise may not only help but actually PREVENT the development of chronic pain. You may be asking, so which type of exercise is most effective? The most up to date evidence-based answer is that it does NOT matter!! –Cochrane review

 “Regular physical activity prevents development of chronic muscle pain”Brito et al 2017

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass as we age. Look at the cross section of these 2 thighs. Both those thighs have the same circumference but the quality of the muscle “inside” the thighs is quite different. Greater muscle mass in adult life predicts our future functional level and our risk of developing chronic pain as we become seniors.

Therefore, resistance training seems to be quite valuable in maintaining health and function as we age, but sadly this information is not being promoted enough. In fact many people as they age are given the opposite message… “Now that you are old and have arthritic changes in your joints, you need to take it easy, no more lifting, carrying, stair climbing, squatting or heaven forbid, any strenuous activity ever again for you.”

Such awful and incorrect information is given to thousands of vulnerable patients by well-meaning but poorly informed healthcare providers; further instilling fear of movement into patients. Furthermore, no thanks to an incredible amount of misinformation on social media, people are bombarded with ever more fear-mongering messages of avoiding doing activities ABC but promoting magic anti-aging fixes by purchasing products XYZ.

We need some sanity back into the healthcare system!!!!

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