Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center
Fishersville, VA 22939

WWRC Therapies

Physical Work Performance Evaluation


Individuals preparing to go back to work after an extended time away from work due to an injury or illness may have some concerns about their abilities to perform the job safely and effectively. The Physical Therapy Department offers the Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE), a specialized evaluation of a person's physical ability to perform work activities.

Physical Therapists evaluate each client’s

  • dynamic strength (lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling),
  • ability to get into and work in different positions (sitting, standing, kneeling, squatting and stooping),
  • mobility (walking, climbing stairs and ladders, and crawling),
  • balance,
  • dexterity,
  • fine-motor coordination, and
  • endurance to work a full eight hour day

Evaluation results allow physical therapists to make recommendations to help clients regain the strength needed to return to work safely. Job-specific testing and comparison of a client’s current physical abilities to the demands of the job are reported in an easy-to-read report which can be used to review return to work guidelines with the employer. For persons exploring new or alternative work settings after an injury or illness, this evaluation can provide guidelines for vocational evaluation or training pursuits.

Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE) Criteria

  • WWRC’s physical medicine physician is available for pre-PWPE screening if the client does not have a physician’s order for the PWPE.
  • If a pre-PWPE screening is completed by the WWRC physician, a one-hour break is scheduled in between the physician’s appointment and the PWPE.
  • Client’s blood pressure must be below 150/100.
  • Client’s heart rate must be below 100.
  • If a client has current work restrictions from a physician, please provide this information when referring. WWRC will attempt to contact that client’s physician prior to the evaluation for clearance to test without restrictions.
  • Client should wear comfortable non-slip shoes and loose clothing suitable for physical activity.
  • Client should make plans to eat lunch prior to the PWPE.
  • Client should follow all usual medication routines.
  • PWPE typically lasts three to four hours.

Contact Information

Email Physical Therapy (PhysicalTherapyInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov)
Phone 800-345-9972, Ext. 7118 or 540-332-7118
TTY 800-811-7893