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A new resource that will improve conversations about physical activity between patients and healthcare professionals has been launched by Public Health England.
The new digital Moving Medicine tool, produced by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, will help healthcare professionals advise patients on how physical activity can help to manage their conditions, prevent disease and aid recovery.
According to PHE, physical inactivity is in the top 10 greatest causes of ill health nationally with only one in four of the population in England does less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and are therefore classified as inactive.
However, research suggests that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse, although, to date, there is little evidence of GPs promoting the benefits of physical activity to patients due to either lack of knowledge, skills or confidence.
Alison Tedstone, Head of Physical Activity at Public Health England, said: “With millions accessing the NHS every day, healthcare professionals play a vital role in helping people to better understand the benefits of physical activity on their health. Taking the time to have these conversations has the power to inspire people to move more and make a big difference to their health.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock added: “There is a mountain of evidence to suggest that patients with all kinds of conditions – from depression to diabetes – would benefit from more exercise, yet understandably those suffering with chronic illness are more likely to be inactive.
“That’s why it’s so important healthcare professionals have the information they need at their fingertips to advise patients with complex health needs on how to get more active – and this doesn’t have to mean joining a gym. It can be doing more of the things we love, whether that’s playing football, swimming or going for long walks. I am delighted to launch this brilliant web tool for healthcare professionals – I hope it will help pave the way for a culture shift in medicine where referrals for exercise are just as common as prescriptions for medication.”