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Physical Activity

An online course for physical therapists / physiotherapists

Physical Activity (PEPA MOOC) An online course for physical therapists / physiotherapists

This course is available to start and complete at any time on your own schedule.

The course is available to FULL Physiopedia Plus members only.

I am amazed with the high quality of the online courses. All the content of the courses are evidence-based and have excellent videos, articles and guidelines. I really recommend Physiopedia courses!


Physical inactivity has a major health effect worldwide. It has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally (WHO, 2015). Of the deaths attributable to physical inactivity, 2.6 million are in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While physical inactivity is more prevalent in high- and middle-income countries, even in low-income countries it is among the top ten risk factors contributing to death.

The global physical inactivity crisis, and the epidemic of life-style related diseases (non-communicable diseases or NCDs) has created an urgent need for health care professionals to develop effective approaches for including physical activity into patient interactions. Creating a more active population requires joined up thinking and action from many health care professionals and related stakeholders.

This course is designed to help healthcare professionals understand the size of the problem of physical inactivity in populations globally, the role of physical inactivity in the causation of a number of conditions and the benefits of exercise in treatment and prevention, and to encourage those who access the course to perform and evaluate interventions to increase physical activity in their settings. This course will give you the confidence, competencies and capabilities, to offer safe and effective physical activity and exercise advice. It also aims to inspire and support all health care professionals to lead on physical activity advocacy and action within your practice, from local to global action.

Course outline

  1. Section one – Basic principles of the relation between exercise and health
  2. Section two – Global issues surrounding physical activity
  3. Section three – Role of physical activity in chronic illness
  4. Section four – Role of physical activity in specific conditions
  5. Section five – Utilising physical activity in treatment
  6. Section six – Quantifying physical activity and the future

Accreditation details

24 PP+ points will be awarded on completion of this course (an additional 4 PP+ points available on completion of an optional assignment).

This course has been accredited by:

  1. South African Society of Physiotherapy (24 CEUs Level 2)

Accreditation for this course is being sought with:

  1. World Confederation for Physical Therapy
  2. Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (ProCert) - Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

A standard accreditation pack for this course can be provided for submission to other accreditation organisations. To access to this pack please contact

Hours of learning

Completing this course will involve approximately 24 hours of learning activities. These will be delivered in 6 sections that can be completed on a participant’s own schedule, however it is recommended that the course is completed over a 6 week period. There is an optional additional 4 hour activity for participants who wish to submit an assignment for a course distinction.

Target audience

This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy professionals, clinicians and students.

Course practicalities

This course is divided into 6 sections/weeks and it is suggested (but not required) that each section be completed over the duration of approximately a week. Please note that no deadlines are applied and this course can be started and completed according to your own schedule. We expect the required elements of each section/week to take around 4-6 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.
It’s not going to be easy, we’ll expect you to work hard for your completion certificate and PP+ points! You won’t be sitting back and watching webinars, we’ll expect you to reading tasks, complete quizzes, perform literature searches and other learning activities. You’ll need to reflect on your own experiences and contribute them within the discussion forum, this is where we can learn from each other’s experiences and knowledge from all around the world! 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 24 PP+ points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.

Types of learning activity involved

Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Participating in an international discussion forum.


  • Anna Lowe
  • Dr Alessandro Demaio
  • Dr Fiona Moffat
  • Prof. Stuart Biddle
  • Dr Paul Kelly
  • Prof. Rob Copeland
  • Clare Lait

Example resources provided

  • McConnell A. Lung Disease and Dysfunction. Chapter 4 In: Buckley JP. Exercise physiology in special populations: advances in sport and exercise science. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2008 Aug 14.
  • Forsyth JJ and Davey RC. Bone health. Chapter 7 In: Buckley JP. Exercise physiology in special populations: advances in sport and exercise science. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2008 Aug 14.

Learning outcomes

  1. describe the basic principles of the relation between exercise and health
  2. identify issues surrounding physical activity locally and globally
  3. explain the role of physical activity in chronic illness
  4. explain the role of physical activity in certain medical conditions
  5. communicate the importance of influencing physical activity opportunities for both patients and the public
  6. demonstrate appropriate selection of physical activity options for personal and workplace wellness
  7. identify appropriate physical activity quantification methods
  8. design services with better access to exercise, physical activity and leisure time opportunities for patients and the public

Requirements to complete this course

In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate you will need to:

  1. abide by the Physiopedia Plus Community Culture
  2. log as completed all the required reading and video viewing activities
  3. actively participate in the course forum discussions
  4. pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more
  5. complete a course evaluation form


I want to thank all of colleagues, profs, etc. from the leading team, who gave us the opportunity to learn a lot about how to work towards making people more active.

This online course has made me a better Physiotherapist. This course had helped me to hone my skills and knowledge base as to the numerous benefits physical activity can offer.

EXCELLENT COURSE! I feel empowered and motivated to be a PHYSICAL ACTIVITY CHAMPION.