It’s time to rethink the way we approach those with health conditions
Did you know that…
- Only 6% of men and 4% of women achieve the governments recommended physical activity levels
- Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of death in developed countries
- There has been a huge decline in maintaining physically active lifestyles due to more sedentary lifestyles such as watching TV, computer usage as well as increases in using cars to take short journeys
- It is estimated that the cost of inactivity in England is £8.2 billion a year (direct costs for treatment and indirect costs on the economy)
- Obesity itself contributes an additional £2.5billion a year! This stat is set to increase drastically when new, updated figures are released.
Physical activity can aid in the management and prevention of many of today’s chronic medical conditions and diseases, so with stats like those above, it’s easy to see why I decided to do my GP Referral qualification and can proudly announced I have just passed!
So what does this actually mean?
It has provided me the skills and knowledge to plan, run and evaluate Exercise Referral Schemes for people with the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Metabolic Diseases such as Diabetes and Hypoglycaemia
- Pulmonary Disease such as COPD and Asthma
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as Osteoporosis, Lower Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Hip and Knee Replacements
- Mental Health Conditions such as Stress, Depression and Anxiety
Just a few of the many benefits that PTs such as myself hope to achieve with this qualification include:
- Reducing the burden on the NHS by reducing the need for operations and medication
- Educate society in the health benefits of a more physically active lifestyle
- Educate health professionals in why it is important to encourage physically active lifestyles
- Promote overall well-being and reduce the need of mental health conditions being treated with medication.
- Reduce the risk of falls and accidents in those with health conditions that affect bone density and bone health.
- Enhance independent living in the elderly.
So, what is an Exercise Referral Scheme?
Exercise referral schemes allow clients and patients to work within a structured programme of physical activity and exercise with a qualified exercise professional. It is also hoped that by encouraging GPs and Health Professionals to promote the health benefits of physical exercise as part of their approach to medical conditions, we reduce the strain on the NHS both now and in generations to come. This will in turn free up much needed financial resource to be used in other areas of the NHS.
In gaining this new skill-set it also means I can adapt classes as well as individual PT sessions, allowing people with these conditions to lead a more physically active lifestyle as well as understand how this can improve their overall health and condition for now and in the future.
If any of the above applies to you or someone you know, please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss how a scheme could work in your area. Or if you suffer from any of these conditions and have already been encouraged by your health professional to get more physically active, then get in touch to start your own personalised plan.