Adding life to years: Using the evidence, sharing innovation #worldptday 8th September 8pm

It is World Physical Therapy Day on 8th September – and this year the theme is ‘Adding life to years’. The World Confederation for Physical Therapy has put together a whole toolkit of ideas and activities for physiotherapists to promote the work we do in healthy ageing.

As part of the range of activities for #worldptday Physiotalk have been asked to facilitate a tweetchat on #addlifetoyears supported by IPTOP (International Association of Physical Therapists working with Older People) @IPTOPWCPT 


This will be a tweetchat with a difference as we span the time zones with 3 hour-long chats at a time to suit you! The chat will use the #worldptday hashtag throughout all time zones – remember to use it in all your chat tweets so that everyone can follow the chat.

Chat times

The first chat time will be at 8pm AEST (That’s local time in Sydney, Australia)

The second chat time will be at 8pm BST (That’s local time in London, UK)

The final chat will be at 8pm EDT (That’s local time in New York, USA)

Not sure what this means for where you live?  Don’t worry – take a look at this handy time zone calculator here. Just choose the chat time that suits you best wherever you are in the world and join in! We will be asking the same questions each chat so you won’t miss out whenever or wherever  you take part.

So – what will we be chatting about?

In 2015 the World Health Organisation published their ‘Report on Ageing and Health’ calling for comprehensive public health action on population ageing. On the launch day (1st October – the International Day of Older Persons) Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO said “Today, most people, even in the poorest countries, are living longer lives but this is not enough. We need to ensure these extra years are healthy, meaningful and dignified. Achieving this will not just be good for older people, it will be good for society as a whole.”

WCPT were represented during the development of the report by Stephen Lungaro-Mifsud, who says the world report’s positive emphasis on optimising functional ability and facilitating each individual’s relationship with the immediate environment is a welcome development. “Everything is linked,” he says. “Once adopted, this approach is expected to have wide-ranging beneficial effects on the ageing world, on the economy, on society, on the person. Physical therapy would be a significant contributor to those changes.”

This is a significant challenge, but one that physiotherapists are ideally placed to lead on. The WCPT says


  • Physical therapists help older people be independent, improving their quality of life and reducing health care costs.
  • Physical therapists address the non-communicable diseases which compromise independence in older age.
  • Structured and tailored exercise programmes are often essential to promote independence in older people.

The WHO report has some case studies to demonstrate good practice but we know there must be a lot of physiotherapists out there who are working in or developing innovative evidence based services that aim to promote healthy ageing and independence in older people. So often we hear how difficult it is for people to disseminate their ideas for good practice – now is your chance!

The themes we will be discussing during the chat will include:

  • What is the evidence based approach that has changed your practice the most – and why?
  • What key guidelines can you recommend to address non-communicable diseases by physical therapists?
  • How has your practice changed to respond to the ageing population?
  • How can we, as physiotherapists, respond to the WHO report?
  • What programs or developments should we be planning to address public health issues in ageing?
  • How can we achieve these within the resources available to us?

And the focus on older people will continue following #worldptday with #olderpersonsday on 1st October – time to ‘Take a stand against ageism’

Pre-chat information

Tweetchat support

This might be the first time you have taken part in a tweetchat – welcome! You might find it useful to have a look at these resources below.

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