Physical Activity As An Occupation
By Pat Nellis, OTD, OTR/L · April 30, 2021
Did you know physical activity is a main occupation for all human beings? It just happens to fall under a larger umbrella “occupation” known as Health Management. On a daily basis, we engage in many activities aimed at developing, managing, and maintaining health and well-being routines in order to support being able to participate in other, more widely recognized occupations such as work, childcare, volunteer work, or going to school. In reality, many of us routinely spend time paying attention to our diet/nutrition because we need to eat and want to feel well. We may take medications for a medical condition because our life depends on it, or we want to restore our health to a more normal state. We connect with family members or other people to make sure we maintain or social and emotional health. All of these examples are things we do to manage our health. All of them are pretty “easy” to integrate into our daily routines. We have regular meals, medications are prescribed to take at specific times, and social interactions happen by way of our other “main” occupations. The same cannot be said for physical activity. Integrating physical activity into our daily routine seems to come with many barriers, despite it being a major occupation that comes with multiple health benefits. To be successful, physical activity needs to become a habit. In order for that to happen, we need to value our efforts to improve cardiovascular status, strength, and balance knowing that doing so will help us maintain health and allow us to enjoy other parts of life. Increasing physical activity does not need to be difficult – we just need to believe it is an important occupation and it’s helpful to actually like what you choose to do. After all, humans were meant to move!
For some interesting information on becoming more active, check out the resources below.OT Clinical Services