New toolkit to help GPs boost activity levels among patients

The Active Practice Charter aims to reduce sedentary behaviour and help more staff and patients to become physically active

A new initiative from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) and Sport England aims to help GPs boost the activity levels of their patients.

The Active Practice Charter builds on an initiative where GP practices develop links with local Parkruns to become Parkrun practices.

Practices that sign up to the scheme promise to take steps to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase the physical activity levels of patients and staff. They also agree to partner with a local activity provider to support the practice in enabling more people to boost their fitness.

The Active Practice Charter follows research that shows one in four people would become more active if it was recommended by a GP or nurse.

RCGP clinical champion for physical activity and lifestyle, Dr Andrew Boyd, said GPs can play a vital role in starting a conversation about physical activity with patients.

“By making small changes in our own workplace – using standing desks, encouraging active transport for staff, and partnering with local physical activity providers, for example – we can demonstrate to patients that being more active is good for everyone's physical and mental health,” he shared.

Sport England chief executive, Tim Hollingworth, highlighted that physical activity has a key role in helping people to manage and improve their health and wellbeing.

“As trusted sources of information, GPs and practice teams have a real opportunity to start discussions that help it become the new normal in their community – for prevention as well as treatment,” he emphasised.

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