In the UK, physical inactivity is the 4th greatest cause of ill health, resulting in as many deaths as smoking. It is estimated that up to 40% of long-term conditions could be prevented if everyone met the UK Chief Medical Officers’ physical activity recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, breaking up sitting time and strength and balance exercises twice a week for older adults.
We know that around one third of adults in Scotland fail to meet physical activity recommendations. As health professionals, even a very short conversation can empower an individual to make changes in their lifestyle. Do you struggle to know what to say to people when you’re discussing patient’s physical activity levels? The Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine (UK) have developed a first class website to help you with just that. They provide advice if you have one, minute, five minutes or more to discuss this topic in relation to primary prevention i.e. promoting healthy ageing and PA to reduce the risk of developing long term conditions e.g. obesity, cancer and also what to discuss with patients who already suffer from one of ten long term conditions. Advice is offered on a range of symptoms patients may experience. Within each conversation are step-by-step guides, insights into behaviour change and how it works and research and evidence behind the conversations.
In addition, promotional materials can be downloaded if you are planning a campaign or event to promote physical activity (posters, flyers, artwork for lanyards). Educational resources are being developed to help those involved in conversations about behaviour change achieve their goals and in the meantime the website signposts to some great online educational resources which are free.