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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Curriculum Needs to Include Preparation in Physical Activity

It is great that RT educators are moving forward with entry-level curriculum reform. In current curricula, one area that has not received the emphasis it needs is training in physical activity.

There have been a number of posts on the RT Blog on the topic of physical activity and RT. A June 18, 2006, post was titled "Great! Training in Physical Activity." On July 12, 2006, was a post "JAMA Article on Activity for Older Adults" that indicated the benefits of physical activity on the health of older adults. On November 24, 2006, there appeared a post "Book that Should be of Interest to RTs," which mentioned a chapter on exercise as an outlet to anxiety in the book Natural Relief for Anxiety. A November 26, 2006, post, "Exercise Increases Brain Size of Older Adults," reported on research from the University of Illinois on the positive value of exercise on the brains of older adults. Also, on November 26th was a post titled "Waltzing to Health Research" which indicated reserach had shown the positive effects of dance on the health of patients who had heart problems. On November 27, 2006, there was a post "Obesity and Persons with Mental Illness" that discussed the problem of obesity among those with mental illness.

I hope those involved in RT curriculum reform will take a look at these posts that indicate the value of physical activity in health protection and health promotion -- and therefore see the need to train RT students in the area of physical activity.

Another source of information on the topic is the chapter titled "A Call for Training in Physical Activity" that appeared in Austin, Dattilo and McCormick's Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation (pp. 225 - 234).