Many of the patients who attend a GP surgery on any given day would benefit from being more active and spending less time being sedentary.
Being active is proven to reduce the risk of premature death, reduce social isolation, improve immunity and help manage or reduce the symptoms of many long-term health conditions – the benefits of being active outweigh any risks associated with long term conditions. Even modest changes to activity levels can play an important role in improving mental and physical wellbeing.
The following resources have been designed to help staff working in primary care to advocate for physical activity.
Active Practice Charter
The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Physical Activity and Lifestyle team have partnered with Sport England to launch the Active Practice Charter.
Sign up to the Active Practice Charter and join the national network of practices making positive changes in their surgeries to boost staff and patient wellbeing. It's free to join and there are lots of simple and creative ideas to help you meet the criteria. You just need to demonstrate that your practice has taken steps to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity in staff and patients, and partnered with a local physical activity provider. You, your staff and patients are best placed to decide what changes will be effective, well received and practicable in your surgery. Methods of increasing physical activity in staff include investing in a practice bike for home visits, having regular walking or standing meetings and becoming a parkrun practice. This can also help to encourage patients to become more active.
Being an Active Practice can have a huge impact on the health of everyone connected to your practice. The initiative does not have to be led by a GP partner, or even a doctor – it may be that you have an active member of your non-clinical practice team who would be best placed to oversee the process. Medical students, a social prescriber or one of the PPG team could also be the lead for this.
Physical Activity Toolkit
A Physical Activity and Lifestyle Toolkit, to be used by primary care professionals, has also been developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in partnership with Sport England, to be used by primary care professionals in the UK. Any health professional concerned about their own activity levels may find the toolkit useful.
The toolkit is designed to have something for all clinicians. You can quickly browse the quick reference section or explore certain resources in more detail.
The parkrun practice initiative aims to promote the social prescribing of physical activity through participation in local 5k parkrun and 2k junior parkrun events.
The programme takes an accessible and low-cost approach to promoting health and wellbeing throughout primary care. The initiative enables GPs and practice staff to socially prescribe physical activity by referring patients to one of the many parkruns that take place throughout the UK every weekend.
The collaboration between the practice and a local parkrun helps make the connection between public health and voluntary organisations, assisting in the creation of healthier, connected communities.
We also offer free training and ongoing support for primary care networks.
If you would like any assistance in embedding physical activity messaging and behaviour change techniques into your practice please contact us and one of the team will be in touch.
Supporting strategic leaders with high quality advice and advocacy so that people in Dorset choose to enjoy an active lifestyle through participation in sport and physical activity.