Wellness & Health Promotion is Center Stage

Wellness & Health Promotion is Center Stage

Wellness and health promotion efforts appear to be at center stage, as the society becomes more aware about the burden of chronic diseases over the lifespan. This knowledge fosters the understanding that lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on prevalence of chronic diseases (Snelling, 2014). The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has identified Health and Wellness as a key practice area in the 21st century (AOTA, 2015). According to AOTA, “factors that will drive an increasing need for wellness-related services are based on an accumulating body of scientific evidence that an individual’s health is directly related to physical as well as emotional well-being” (AOTA, 2015) . To support practice, AOTA provides extensive resources for Health and Wellness practice embedded within occupational therapy, including evidence-based literature, technology applications to support domains of health, and professional development opportunities.

Promotion of health is inherent to OT practice as stated by the 2019 Florida Legislature in the Florida Statute #468.203, “Occupational therapy” means the use of purposeful activity or interventions to achieve functional outcomes. “Achieving functional outcomes” means to maximize the independence and the maintenance of health of any individual who is limited by a physical injury or illness, a cognitive impairment, a psychosocial dysfunction, a mental illness, a developmental or a learning disability, or an adverse environmental condition” (Florida Legislature, 2019). Functional outcomes support overall health and well-being of both individuals and populations. As occupational therapy practitioners, a person-centered, holistic, systems approach is used to help consumers return to or gain valued and meaningful occupation, opening opportunity for well-being. The Florida Occupational Therapy Association (FOTA) reflects the importance of meeting the occupational needs of consumers and communities through promoting best practice. This aligns with the mission of the Florida Department of Health. The Florida Health website offers resources including the health plan for the state, statistics, programs and services, providers, information on diseases and conditions, as well as healthy environments to support health and wellness within OT practice.

On a global practice level, evidence of effort to promote health and well-being is articulated in the first foundational belief of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), “Occupational therapy has a valuable contribution to make to occupational performance as it affects the health and well-being of people” (WFOT, 2019). WFOT will celebrate World Occupational Therapy Day on 10/27/19. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Improving world health and well-being”.

The FOTA Health and Wellness SIS is hoping to learn about what you are excited about as an occupational therapy practitioner or student to support the pursuit of health and well-being within your practice setting. Please feel free to email Marcia Hamilton, mhamilton@usa. edu, with information about events, intervention, education or activities being used in your school or practice setting to support health and wellbeing.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (2015). Retrieved fromhttps://www.aota.org/ Practice/Health-Wellness.aspx 
Florida Health. (2019). Retrieved from http:// www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/index. html
Florida Legislature 2019. (2019). Retrieved from http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index. cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_ String=&URL=0400-0499/0468/Sections/0468.203. html Snelling, A. (2014).
Introduction to Health Promotion. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishing. World Federation of Occupational Therapists. (2019). Retrieved fromhttps://www.wfot.org/about
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