In recent months, the importance of getting and staying active has been at the forefront of the government’s response to the pandemic, with the CMO for England, Professor Chris Whitty, stating: “There is no situation, there is no age and no condition where exercise is not a good thing.”
Despite the benefits of physical activity, many adults across the UK have struggled to remain active and have become deconditioned, putting them at risk of poorer health outcomes than before the pandemic. The We are Undefeatable survey of 1,300 people with long-term conditions revealed that the risk of Covid-19 was the greatest barrier to being active, and that loss of physical activity was increasing their stress and anxiety.
Improving the health of the population is a priority as the nation begins to recover from the first wave of Covid-19 and as further lockdown restrictions ease. And physical activity will play a key role in building the nation’s health resilience and easing pressures on the NHS.
Healthcare professionals (HCPs), play a unique role in addressing inactivity, with one in four people stating that they would be more active if they were advised by a GP or nurse.
Public Health England and their network of 47 Physical Activity Clinical Champions, which is made up of GPs, Nurses, Midwives and Allied Healthcare Professionals, are encouraging NHS organisations to book a free online training session for their HCP workforce, so that they feel equipped with the knowledge, skills and tools to speak to patients about the benefits of getting active.
The one to three-hour session, which is now available to book from late-September, will increase HCPs knowledge of the current Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) guidelines for physical activity and how to provide brief advice during consultations. If you’re working as a HCP or managing a workforce of HCPs, you can help make a difference to patients’ lives and support those who have become deconditioned during the pandemic, by signing up your organisation for a session now. To find out more about the session and how to sign up, please contact the physical activity team on firstname.lastname@example.org