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GP's should act as 'physical activity role models' says PHE

GPs should become ‘physical activity role models’ to make it easier to discuss physical activity with their patients, Government guidance has recommended.

Public Health England’s new guidance – ‘Health matters: getting every adult active every day’ – claims that ’one in four patients would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse’, using statistics from the 2007 ‘Health Survey of England’.

It recommends that healthcare professionals should improve their own activity levels.

It said: ’Healthcare professionals can have an impact on an individual level by… becoming a physical activity role model; increasing your own activity levels will improve your own health and make it easier for you to discuss physical activity with other people.’

The guidance highlighted the ‘appropriate way’ in which GPs could identify a patient and urged health workers to use their ‘professional judgement’ instead of relying on visual cues, including using the General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPPAQ). 

PHE recommends that adults age 19-64 should complete up to 150 minutes of exercise a day and should take up muscle-strengthening exercises such as yoga and ‘carrying shopping’.

The call for GPs to be more involved in patient’s physical health comes after NICE’s report ‘Physical activity: brief advice for adults in primary care’, which recommended that those working in primary care should identify adults who are not currently meeting the UK physical activity guidelines.

 

Readers' comments (15)

  • Stop interfering in peoples lives -" that those working in primary care should identify adults who are not currently meeting the UK physical activity guidelines."- the state seems to have decided that it has the right to involve itself with an individual's legal lifestyle choices. I don't know where this right is enshrined but I do know that this feels like intrusiveness. And don't give me all that junk about fitter people are cheaper from a health cost point of view (as if this was a reasonable argument anyway) -fitter people live longer and I suspect overall consume more health care and social costs.

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  • When I was a full time GP I managed about 3500 steps a day. Since retiring it is more than 12000 and occasionally up to 25000.
    Glad I took their advice and no longer work punishing 14 hours a day sat in my bum.

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  • When I was working I was grateful if I had enough time to eat, drink and shit, let alone do any exercise. Where does PHE find these people?

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  • 150 minutes per DAY? Seriously who has a spare two and a half hours each day to spare? Why such an increase as the last recommendation I saw was 150 minutes per week.

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  • I have known a vegetarian butcher, a teetotal barman and myopic optician. All great people and good at their jobs.

    Just saying......

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  • Really fat nurses

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  • I'd prefer to be looked after by a really fat nurse than a really thin one.

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  • Any chance PHE having a word with management at Birmingham's new QE Hospital? The site appears to have been deliberately arranged to hinder, endanger and obstruct anyone arriving on foot or cycle rather than by car. Thanks.

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  • I'll Just cancel my morning surgeries then shall I and bask in my post exercise glow for afternoon surgeries telling patients how virtuous I have been. PHE want to get out into the real world once in a while.

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  • If PHE are really serious about people getting 150 minutes of exercise a day they need to be lobbying government and business for a change in working hours/long hours culture. Have they actually read their own advice - how can you possibly work full time and exercise for 2 1/2 hours a day, plus see your kids etc??? unless they want everyone to work as park rangers something has got to change and it is not a GP's responsibility it is a societal problem!

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