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Abstract

Business and industry are interested in reducing their direct and indirect costs of health services. The answer to reducing these costs for many companies has been to shift their emphasis from subsidizing sickness to promoting health and welfare in wellness, prevention, or fitness programs. Basic certification courses have been developed at a graduate level for fitness instructors, exercise test technologists, exercise leaders, and directors of preventive programs. These courses are open to a broad range of disciplines, including physical therapy. Physical therapists can perform different roles in industrial preventive programs to prevent on-the-job injuries and improve physical fitness. Physical therapists have both the education and the clinical experience to be effective in planning preventive programs. We have divided the comprehensive preventive exercise program into five phases: history questionnaire, evaluation, consultation, performance, and progress assessment. These phases, especially the evaluation of the patient, are discussed from the perspective of the contribution the physical therapist can make. The characteristics of successful company-sponsored exercise programs also are discussed.

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