Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Great! Training in Physical Activity

I just received the mailer on the 2006 ATRA Annual Conference to be held in Orlando, September 14 - 18. It pleased me to see the post-conference intensive "Exercise for Frail Elders and Adults with Special Needs." Betsy Best-Martini, M.S., CTRS, is to lead this all-day intensive. The Madison RT Workshop to be held in Madison, Indiana, in July also has one-half day devoted to sessions on physical activity.

To see the provision of RT training on physical activity warms my heart. As a health and physical education major as a undergrauate I learned the value of physical activity to health. Yet there has seemingly been a decline in the proivision of physical activity programs by RTs over the past 30 years. I lamented on this situation in a chapter titled "A Call for Training in Physical Activity" in the textbook Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation that I edited with John Dattilo and Bryan McCormick for Venture Publishing in 2002. It appears my call has begun to be answered! (Although I seriously doubt that the provision of the ATRA and Madison training on physical activity actually grew out of my call.)

The apparent interest by RTs in physical activity should be a signal to universities to make sure those preparing for careers in our profession are given training in conducting physical activity programs. How many university RT curricula now require a course in physical activities? My guess is that few do today. It is time to change this by universities adding such a requirement. My chapter in Conceptual Foundaitons should provide RT faculty with a rationale for the addition of a course dealing with physical activity.


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