Physical Activity Levels of Physiotherapists across Practice Settings: A Cross-Sectional Comparison Using Self-Report Questionnaire and Accelerometer Measures
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This article describes the physical activity of physiotherapists in British Columbia and examines differences across practice settings using self-report questionnaire and accelerometer-derived measures.
Public and private practice physiotherapists aged 18-65 years were recruited through employee email lists and word of mouth to this cross-sectional study. Participants (n=98) completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Long Form (IPAQ-L) online to quantify self-reported physical activity across various domains (occupational, leisure time, domestic, and transportation). Of these, 38 agreed to wear an accelerometer for 7 days to objectively measure physical activity. Descriptive statistics were used to describe self-reported and accelerometer-measured physical activity across domains, and inferential statistics were used to compare physical activity patterns across practice sites. The correlation and agreement between self-report questionnaire and accelerometer measures were also calculated.
Almost all (99%) of the physiotherapists self-reported meeting physical activity guidelines, and only 58% were classified as meeting guidelines when using accelerometers. Public practice physiotherapists self-reported more total, occupational, and domestic physical activity and had higher measured occupational physical activity than private practice physiotherapists. Overall, there was poor agreement between self-report questionnaires and accelerometers.
Physiotherapists are an active group, with those in public practice reporting and participating in more physical activity than those in private practice.
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