Work Conditioning Programme

  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Risk Management
  • Rehabilitation Services

The MPOT/Access Fitness specialist Work Conditioning Programme is an intensive multi-disciplinary programme with the specific purpose of restoring capacity & building work tolerance in a safe, supervised and structured environment.


Using a multi-disciplinary team of allied health professionals (occupational therapists, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists, the MPOT/Access Fitness Work Conditioning Programme

  • is focussed on the individual worker & reflects their individual needs
  • increases work capacity & work tolerance in a measured & realistic way
  • uses the principles of pacing, exercise & grading of activities
  • incorporates safe work practices and manual handling
  • teaches participants about the physiology of pain
  • challenges self-talk and counteracts negative thinking
  • provides a practical & functional framework to assist participants with ongoing management of their injury

Utilising the information gained from a Job Analysis and a Functional Capacity Evaluation and/or a Clinical Assessment, an individualised, tailored, multi-disciplinary program is created.

The MPOT/Access Fitness Work Conditioning Programme is based at the Access Fitness gym, conveniently located in Payneham.


Each Work Conditioning Programme is tailored to an individual worker, taking into account their capacity and work duties. The work conditioning programme begins as an intensive onsite programme at MPOT/Access Fitness. As capacity increases and work tolerance builds, the intensity of the programme decreases. Concurrently, there is an increase in work duties through a graduated return to work (subject to medical approval). 

Week Programme Work Duties
Week 1 WCP 5 days pw


Week 2 WCP 4 days pw GRTW duties 1 day pw
Week 3 WCP 3 days pw GRTW duties 2 days pw
Week 4 WCP 2 days pw GRTW duties 3 days pw
Week 5 WCP 1 day pw GRTW duties 4 days pw
Week 6


GRTW duties 5 days pw

WCP – Work Conditioning Programme at MPOT/Access Fitness

GRTW duties – Appropriate duties completed at workers worksite


Access Fitness is Adelaide’s first accessible gym and physiotherapy treatment facility with specialised equipment that has been custom-designed for people with temporary or permanent injuries, including serious/complex injuries and wheelchair users.

Our custom-designed gym equipment is state of the art and enables us to replicate work tasks in a safe, supervised and structured environment, under the guidance of an experienced multi-disciplinary team.


In April 2012, Mr A was referred to MPOT/Access Fitness for a Work Conditioning Programme to support him in his return to work.

Mr A had sustained a back injury in June 2011, lifting a 15kg carton of dog food. With unresolved back pain, Mr A sought a surgical review and in November 2011, underwent a discectomy at L5.

At the time of referral Mr A, was working just 4 hours per day, 2 days per week, in a sedentary role with significant restrictions of no lifting over 7.5kg, no twisting, bending or pulling, no sitting or standing for excessive amounts of time, no extended reach away from body, rotate postures and short distance walking only. At the age of 28, Mr A was early in his working life and to have such restrictions ongoing was going to be both disabling and disheartening.

Alone, Physiotherapy would not be sufficient for Mr A to restore capacity and build work tolerance. He required a multidisciplinary approach with a clear, safe and supervised work conditioning programme. This involved MPOT coordinating hands on physical therapy treatment and hydrotherapy treatment with the Physiotherapist, core stabilising exercises and a gym based program with the Exercise Physiologist and work conditioning activities that specially focussed on areas of reduced function with the Occupational Therapist. The work conditioning program was completed over 4 days per week for 3 weeks.

At the conclusion of the program, Mr A had made significant functional gains using a wide range of evidenced based outcome measures. Significantly, Mr A had progressed from being suitable for sedentary work only to light work. A graduated return to work program was then implemented and at the time of closure Mr A had returned to pre-injury hours with the only restriction being lifting of 17.5kg rarely, 15kg occasionally and 12.5 frequently. Mr A also returned to playing competitive cricket. At the 3 month review, Mr A had maintained all of his gains.


Providing human & social benefits as well as economic benefit

Evidence supports that effective work conditioning programmes take a multi-disciplinary approach and demonstrate improved outcomes in relation to work ready rate, health care contact, back pain levels, disability level, staying physically active and reduction in analgesics when compared to shorter physical capacity based programmes. In addition, the evidence shows that there is human and social, as well as economic benefit from a work conditioning programme.