Physiotherapy in the comprehensive treatment of obesity

Authors: Cieślińska-Świder J.

Published online: 30 November 2015

Background: World Health Organization considers obesity as the most serious health condition in the world today. This concerns not only adults but also children and young people. Obesity is the leading cause of increased morbidity, disabilities, mortality rates and deteriorated quality of life in society. Higher death risk due to cardiovascular diseases and certain cancerous conditions are also attributable to obesity. Some 40% adults in the world today are overweight and 13% are obese. These tendencies have also been observed in Poland. Specific components of comprehensive slimming treatments include dietary treatment, nutrition education, habits modification, increased level of physical activity, pharmacological treatment and surgical interventions. The basis in obesity treatment is to induce a negative energy balance. This status is typically achieved through dietary measures and increased energy expenditure. Helping prepare adequate individual therapeutic programs is a key to success in slimming of the obese patients. Mass reduction programs are prepared individually based on FITT formula, which takes into consideration four aspects of physical activity: frequency, intensity, time and type of physical activity. The role of physiotherapists in this process is essential. Individual therapeutic programs help adjust all the aspects of training to the health status of the obese patients, with respect to coexisting diseases.