The purpose of the Health Promotion and Wellness SIG is to enhance health promotion and wellness practice among physical therapy professionals working with older adults.

The SIG supports this goal through education, clinical practice, research, and partnership with other health promotion organizations and initiatives.

The SIG fosters health promotion and wellness through educational programs at national meetings, webinars and research blasts. SIG members also contribute to the section listserv and website, write GeriNotes articles highlighting wellness news, and participate in other section activities promoting implementation of wellness initiatives and practice.

There are many opportunities for participation, so please consider getting involved! To participate or learn more about current SIG activities and projects, contact the SIG chair.


  • CHAIR: Cathy Stucker, PT, DSc, CMPT
  • VICE CHAIR: Amy L Walters, PT, DPT
  • SECRETARY: Lashia Hicks, PT, DPT


HPW SIG Events

04 Jun

HPW SIG Member Meeting

7:00 pm ET - 8:00 pm ET

Health Promotion & Wellness SIG Member Resources

For descriptions and resources related to evidence-based health promotion programs, including those that have undergone the Administration for Community Living Administration on Aging’s Older Americans Act Title IIID program submission process please see the National Council on Aging’s Center for Healthy Aging.
POWERPOINT PRESENTATION: Physical Activity: A Key to Successful Aging PowerPoint
WEBINAR: Annual PT Exam for Older Community-Dwelling Adults: Filtering the Data and Developing a Plan Instructor: Jennifer M. Gamboa, DPT, OCS, MTC
The Health Promotion and Wellness SIG has posted a new blast cast titled Smartphones and Wearable Activity Trackers to Measure and Promote Physical Activity. As physical therapists and physical therapist’s assistants we regularly engage in promoting active lifestyles and assisting patients with physical activity behavior changes. It is important for us to be familiar with the measurement accuracy and effectiveness of popular technology for monitoring physical activity. The goal of this blast cast is to provide readers with contemporary references about: (a) the accuracy of some of the most popular devices and applications for tracking physical activity and (b) how they may be used to promote activity among patients. The blast cast can be found at Please direct questions or comments about the blast cast to Gina Pariser, Vice Chair-HPW SIG (

Addressing Sedentary Behavior
In addition to exercising regularly, there is growing evidence that reducing sedentary behavior (independent of exercise) may play a significant role in reducing chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and minimizing declines in mobility associated with aging. Hence, a new model for physical activity promotion that emphasizes reducing sedentary behavior and increasing time spent doing light-intensity activities, such as standing and walking short distances, has been advocated. Increased sedentary behavior in aging adults may be associated with fatigue and musculoskeletal pain. Physical therapists and assistants possess the expertise needed to help older adults reduce sedentary behavior and engage in more light-intensity activity comfortably.

Following are annotated abstracts of three contemporary articles related to this topic as well as links to the published abstracts Happy reading and please share your interventions for reducing sedentary behavior on the APTA Geriatrics listserv. A goal of the HPW SIG is to develop a database of references pertinent to physical therapy involvement in health promotion and wellness and to generate related discussion.

Reducing Sedentary Behavior: A New Paradigm in Physical Activity Promotion. Marshall S, Ramierz E. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. 2011: 5(6) 518-530.
There is a paucity of literature on interventions to reduce sedentary behavior. The purpose of this article was to propose a 5-phase framework outlining a series of steps for reducing sedentary behavior and ultimately improving public health. The 5 phases include: 1. Research on causal relationships between sedentary behavior and health, 2. Development of valid measurements of sedentary behavior, 3. Identification of modifiable correlates of sedentary behavior, 4. Development of interventions to reduce physical inactivity, and 5. Implementation and evaluation of the effectiveness of proposed interventions.

Addressing the Nonexercise Part of the Activity Continuum: A More Realistic and Achievable Approach to Activity Programming for Adults with Mobility Disability. Manns P, Dunstan D, Own N, Healy G. Physical Therapy, 2012: 92(4): 614-625.
Major purposes of this article are to discuss: (a) what is known about the consequences of sedentary behavior in adults with and without mobility disability (defined as impairments that limit the way adults walk or move within the home or community) and (b) clinical implications related to reducing sedentary behavior in adults with mobility disability. Examples focus on adults with stroke and spinal cord injury.

American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Quantity and Quality of Exercise for Developing and Maintaining Cardiorespiratory, Musculoskeletal and Neuromotor Fitness in Apparently Healthy Adults: Guidance for Prescribing Exercise. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, et al. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011: 43(7) 1334-1359.
The purpose of this most recent Position Stand from the American College of Sports Medicine is to help guide health professionals who prescribe individualized exercise to apparently healthy adults of all ages. The ACSM recommends that most adults engage in:

  • moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for > 30 min/day on > 5 days/week (totaling 150 min/week), or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise > 20 min/day on > 3 days/week (totaling to > 75 min/week), or a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise to achieve a total energy expenditure of > 500 to 1000 MET min/week.
  • resistance exercise and neuromotor exercise (involving balance and coordination) on 2-3 days/week
  • flexibility exercise on > 2 days/week

The ACSM states that the exercise program should be modified according to the individual’s physical function, health status, physical activity behaviors, and goals. This Position Stand provides an excellent summary of quantity and quality of scientific evidence on the benefits of physical activity and exercise prescription.

Special thanks to Gina Pariser, PT, PhD and Jen Sidelinker, PT, GCS for developing this research update. Anyone interested in assisting with future updates are welcome to contact Gina Pariser

As physical therapist we are regularly involved in motivating people with different backgrounds, personalities, and goals. The goal of this HPW blast cast series is to help physical therapy professionals keep up to date on current evidence and best practices related to motivating patients to adopt healthy behaviors. The series will include three blast casts. The purpose of this first blast cast is to highlight some resources that may be helpful to you in updating your knowledge related to behavior change theories and techniques. The planned purpose for the second blast cast is to acknowledge barriers physical therapist’s may face in implementing patient motivation best practices and discuss ideas for overcoming these barriers. The third, and final, blast cast in the series will be about motivating patients within a continuum of care with emphasis on physical therapy referral and partnerships with evidence-based chronic disease self-management programs.
In this first blast cast we have tried to offer a little something for everyone, whether it is in bite size or full meal portions, print or podcasts.

Models and Techniques for Health Behavior Change (Print Resources):

  • Theories of behavior change. Communication for Governance and Accountability Program, The World Bank, Washington, DC. This easy to read document consists of overviews of contemporary behavior change theories as well as ways these theories may inform your practice.

Click on the link below to access the information (Note: cut/pasting the link may be necessary with some browsers):

  • The handbook of health behavior change. 3rd edition. Editors: SA Shumaker, JK Ockene, A Riekert. Springe Publishing Co, 2008.


  • A matter of motivationbyCharles Hayhurst. This PT in Motion article (August 2013) includes patient-centered practical tips and strategies for motivating behavior change in our patients, while being mindful of and sensitive to their stage of readiness for change.



Models and Techniques for Health Behavior Change (Audio Resources):

Special thanks to Gina Pariser, PT, PhD and Jen Sidelinker, PT, GCS for developing this Blast Cast. Anyone interested in assisting with future updates are welcome to contact Gina Pariser

APTA Resources

Medicare Wellness Visits and Preventive Services

National Agency Resources & Initiatives

Organizations & Initiatives

    • Interdisciplinary organization dedicated to promoting active aging as a solution to improving quality of life for older adults. Sponsor of Active Aging Week in September of each year. Wellness articles, videos, and webinars available.
  • National Physical Activity Society
    • Promotes physical activity across all sectors of society through building partnerships. Webinars, ACSM/NPAS Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist (PAPHS) certification exam preparation, free membership, and other resources available.
  • The Guide to Community Preventative Services
    • Guide to promote healthier communities