I will be the first to admit that by most standards, I'm as 'crunchy' as they come. I dragged friends and family to An Inconvenient Truth and I ride a bicycle to work. But when it comes to American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) policy, the language should not be about climate change. Our focus would best be placed on asthma not ozone, and on obesity over emissions. Our profession has unlimited potential to impact health not climate. Therefore I hope to see the APTA develop a detailed position that puts us in the leadership role among health care providers advocating for healthy environments for the sake of supporting health. To me, this means the APTA has a vested interest in everything from air quality to sidewalk quality.
In general I would say that New Professionals are aware of this issue more so than the general public. However, I believe that we have an ethical obligation and huge opportunity to rally behind this cause. It will undoubtably push us further along the path towards becoming preventative practitioners. But more importantly, it will express to our clients that we care about their health as much as we are concerned about their injuries. After all, health is contextual. PTs must come to vigorously advocate for the context that best supports a kinesiophilic or movement loving existence.
I have an as yet unfinished joke about "where the sidewalk ends..." I'm not sure how to get there but the punch line is "diabetes."
What do you think? Can PTs frame "going green" as "going healthy?"
And can we do that at a national level?