Exercise – the cure for all ills?

I’ve been practising or working in the physiotherapy field for 23 years so you would expect me to know a bit about the importance of physical health. But this week, it’s REALLY struck me that physical health is not just important – it’s vital! And the more I think about it, the more I think that good physical health, and therefore exercise, is the keystone to ALL health!

Exercise and Workplace Health

In fact there doesn’t seem to be many illnesses or conditions where exercise doesn’t have a role in prevention and cure. This is what I have read about the benefits of exercise just in the last 2 weeks:


This past week alone, I have woken up to the news that many researchers believe that exercise is the most effective treatment for cancer prevention.


Exercise should be prescribed by doctors to those with Type II Diabetes to control blood sugar and insulin insensitivity.


It has been long proven that exercise plays a vital role in reducing arthritis symptoms, but this past month, new research suggests that high intensity training can reduce Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain.

Cardiovascular Disease

Still the Number 1 biggest killer in the UK yet news out today shows we are getting complacent despite it being preventable in many cases. Lack of exercise doubles our risk of having a heart attack.

Respiratory Disease

Research has shown that exercise can improve breathing among people with a respiratory disease, although it is recognised that participating in any type of physical activity while your lung function progressively declines is not an enjoyable experience.

Back Pain

A new piece of research confirmed that a combination of exercise and education is still the most effective approach for treatment and prevention of back pain.

Mental Health Conditions

People with mental health disorders are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic physical health conditions, says new research, but as physiotherapists, we have long known of the link between physical and mental health.

So what does that mean for us involved with sickness absence in the workplace? For me, it is clear. Occupational Health and Wellbeing Services and Programmes should focus on improving their employees’ physical fitness. The need for physiotherapists, as the exercise rehabilitation specialists, in the work place has never been stronger. By addressing employees’ physical activity into their treatment plan, we can proactively help with all sickness absence, not just musculoskeletal cases.