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The ‘fit’ health professional

Learn about how health professionals that are considered fit may be perceived and be aware of how you may project yourself.

Several health professions are perceived to be included within or aligned with the fitness industry. This can create patient preconceptions about beliefs or approaches that such health professionals may take in their professional roles. For example, it is easy to see how this perception can be reinforced when patients walk into clinics with gym equipment or open spaces and if the health professional is wearing gym style clothing.

Some health professions may also enforce the stereotype of the ‘fit’ clinician. These beliefs can be reinforced by things such as frequent health advertisements that feature thin or toned bodies. While the patients’ judgement is generally out of your control, it is important to be aware of how you may project yourself and the influence of your own body on other’s ideas or perceptions of themselves.

This is highlighted in the quote below from a patient attending physiotherapy:3

“…..having your weight mentioned by someone who is obviously very fit and healthy made it sort of feel more uncomfortable”
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EduWeight: Weight Management for Adult Patients with Chronic Disease

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