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. 


Follow our latest musings on environmental physiotherapy. Ideas, inspiration, news, publications, events, and more. 


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. 

Physiotherapy and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration?

Though the official launch is scheduled for World Environment Day on 5 June 2021, this year marks the beginning of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. This United Nations effort is based on the recognition that 'there has never been a more urgent need to restore...

A call to include a perspective of sustainable development in physical therapy research

It is about time physiotherapists realize our potential as a profession that could make vital contributions to sustainable development, in healthcare and in society as a whole. Global environmental changes, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity, greatly...

The EPA joins the Planetary Health Alliance

We are excited to have joined the Planetary Health Alliance, a consortium of over 200 universities, non-governmental organizations, research institutes, and government entities from around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change...

The environment as a tool for patient-centred care: a bridge between physiotherapy and Dance Movement Therapy

For the past few years, body and movement have been the prime focus of my professional and personal life. As a physiotherapist and Dance Movement Therapy practitioner this is not surprising and what my practice has made me realise is that movement is the essence of...

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