Online Course
Basic Principles of Physical Activity
Learn about the influence of activity and inactivity in different age and population groups

2-2.5 hours





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Physical inactivity has a major impact on health across the world. It has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally. Of the deaths attributable to physical inactivity, 2.6 million are in low- and middle-income countries. While physical inactivity is more prevalent in high- and middle-income countries, it is still among the top ten risk factors contributing to death in low-income countries. The benefits of physical activity are far-reaching and contribute to both the prevention and management of long-term conditions, so it should form a component of every physiotherapy intervention.


The aim of this course is to introduce you the broad topic of physical activity including key definitions, benefits, physiological effects and global patterns of physical activity.


This course is made up of videos, reading, discussions and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:

  1. Key Definitions in Physical Activity
  2. The Health Benefits of Physical Activity
  3. Physiologic Adaptations to Regular Exercise and Associated Risks
  4. Patterns and Trends in Physical Activity

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.


Availability - this course is online and can be completed on your own schedule.

Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 2-2.5 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.

Types of Activities - Watching videos, reading, a final quiz and participating in an international discussion forum.

Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 1.9 Plus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:

  1. Respect the Plus Community Culture.
  2. Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
  3. Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
  4. Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
  5. Complete a course evaluation form.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • describe six benefits of Physical Activity
  • describe physiological adaptations to exercise
  • list at least five absolute contraindications to exercise
  • discuss the concept of physical activity and inactivity in children, adolescents, adults, and people with disabilities
  • select two global patterns/trends in Physical Activity


For special needs or accommodations please contact us with details of how we can meet your needs.

Featured reviews
This is a fun course that you can take to know how you could address your future or present patients' Physical activity level more holistically.
A very good refresher course on the benefits of exercise, some excellent content and came away from it far more informed
Chris Horan
A great course that provides in-depth background about physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour. Gives good insight into barriers to participation and is a good refresher to the topic of increasing people's activity levels.
Bex Francis
United Kingdom
Great course with great resources!
Sonja Botha
A good basic refresher on the benefits and impacts of physical activity. Clear and easy to follow!
Shayne Mathieson
United Kingdom