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Using my morning occupation (RUNNING) to define Occupational Therapy

You may be asking yourself why an occupational therapist is writing a blog post about running. I mean, seriously, isn't that a PT or Athletic Trainer thing to write about? But listen up, folks, I would like to use RUNNING (a meaningful activity for me) to describe how occupational therapy can positively impact any activity you would like to engage in.

First of all, let's define occupational therapy as defined by the American Occupational Therapy Association. It is "the therapeutic use of everyday life activities (occupations) with individuals or groups for the purpose of enhancing or enabling participation in roles, habits, and routines in home, school, workplace, community, and other settings." (AOTA, 2014)

I start my day with a RUN. My clothes are set out the night before, which is a basic dressing task. Running gets me up, out of the house, and on my way. Sometimes, I run with a dear friend, safely and socially distanced. This meaningful activity falls into 3 out of 7 areas of occupation that occupational therapists focus on.....but the one occupation prepares me to engage in the other 7 throughout my day.

Areas of Occupation (Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, 4th ed, 2017)

  1. Activities of Daily Living=getting dressed

  2. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living

  3. Recreation=physical activity of running

  4. Work

  5. Education

  6. Rest/Sleep

  7. Social Participation=with a friend, safely and socially distanced

If you have a meaningful activity in your life that you would like to share or change, we would love to read about it in the comments section. If you would rather email me, I would love to hear from you!

I will use this blog to give a voice to people engaging in meaningful activities, describe the work and practice of occupational therapy, and share working ideas about the evolving nature of this profession.

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It’s easy to forget how important recreational activities are for our mental and physical health!

I’ve been trying to incorporate more reading into my life- have found audiobooks is making it easier to accomplish this goal because it’s sometimes hard to actually sit and read a real book! Wish I could go on a socially distanced run with you!

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