Advancing an environmentally responsible physiotherapy



A recent study from the US showed that in 2013 the health care sector was ‘responsible for significant fractions of national air pollution emissions and impacts, including acid rain (12%), greenhouse gas emissions (10%), smog formation (10%), criteria air pollutants (9%), stratospheric ozone depletion (1%), and carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic air toxins (1–2%)’ (Eckelman and Sherman, 2016).



‘The impact of human activities on our planet’s natural systems has been intensifying rapidly in the past several decades, leading to disruption and transformation of most natural systems. These disruptions in the atmosphere, oceans, and across the terrestrial land surface are not only driving species to extinction, they pose serious threats to human health and wellbeing. Characterising and addressing these threats requires a paradigm shift’ (Myers, 2017).

‘action at the level of direct drivers of nature decline, although necessary, is not sufficient … a sustainable global future’ is ‘only possible with urgent transformative change that tackles the root causes: the interconnected economic, socio-cultural, demographic, political, institutional, and technological indirect drivers behind the direct drivers’ (Diaz et al., 2019)


An international community of academics, clinicians, practitioners and students interested in exploring and advancing the field of environmental physiotherapy. 


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Become part of the first international community of physiotherapists with an interest in researching, developing, and practising physiotherapy at a planetary scale. 


A growing selection of resources carefully selected by members of the EPA to inspire your thinking and practice of environmental physiotherapy. 

The 2nd Environmental Physiotherapy Roundtable – coming soon!

Nearly exactly one year after the first ever Environmental Physiotherapy Roundtable, we are pleased to invite you to the second iteration of  our livestream discussion on environmental physiotherapy. At the 2nd Environmental Physiotherapy Roundtable, representatives...

They are not “natural” disasters, but disasters of vulnerability

Shaun and Mathieu are physiotherapists with experience in disaster response. They were accepted to present a workshop at the Canadian Physiotherapy Association’s “Congress 2020” on the use of the disaster cycle to conceptualize the roles of physiotherapists in the...

COVID-19, healthcare and the environment (the long read)

I remain unsure how to start this blogpost. The only thing that seems fairly clear is that I am trying to make sense of the current COVID-19 pandemic and I suspect that the same is true for many others. Because of my recent preoccupation with the implicit and explicit...

How to move a mountain with a biodegradable spoon

The move towards an environmentally sustainable teaching facility for clinical physiotherapy practice or even a private community practice is a challenging task. We asked our staff and students what they would like to see changed. The younger staff and students, who...

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