Canterbury District Health Board recently launched the PhysioFITT Programme as a way to help increase the levels of physical activity within the community.

PhysioFITT is specifically designed to assist individuals who face physical, mental, personal or environmental barriers to exercising. it is a targeted programme of physical activity and exercise, provided by physiotherapists, for individuals who are inactive due to these barriers. With PhysioFITT, we carry out an assessment with a view to manage and overcome the barriers of the individual’s health condition(s), modifying and progressing the exercises to avoid flare ups.

FITT Stands for:

  • Frequency – how often
  • Intensity – amount of effort
  • Type – of exercise, e.g. endurance, strength, balance or a combination
  • Time – how long at a time or over time

Although the programme focuses on those barriers, we can prescribe exercise and activity to anyone for wellbeing and performance goals.

PhysioFITT consists of 3-4 sessions over a 3 to 6 months, depending on the amount of support and advice the individual requires. The process consists of taking a history which includes information about general health, medication, barriers to activity, goals and includes completing a physical activity questionnaire. This is then followed by calculating the Body Mass Index or BMI, balance, coordination, strength, cardiovascular and anaerobic fitness and flexibility assessment. All of this information combined then allows for us to create a safe exercise plan relevant to your individual’s specific needs.

After starting the programme, your progress is progressed over 3-4 appointments which span over a 3 to 6 month period. Your physio will phone or email you between sessions to provide support and encourage accountability. The program is progressed to ensure that the challenge is increased. At the end of the programme, we will reassess progress against the original baseline measures. At the end of the programme, we are able to update your GP and keep them informed of your progress and achievements.