Sport England teamed up with the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) to launch the Active Practice Charter that inspires and celebrates GP practices that are taking steps to increase activity in their patients and staff.
With one in four people saying they would be more active if it was recommended by a GP or nurse, the charter includes a toolkit that will support time-poor GPs to raise the subject of activity with patients and achieve Active Practice status.
The charter will support around 8,000 GP practices in the UK and aims to help them raise awareness of the simple changes that can be made to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of patients and staff.
With physical inactivity estimated to cost the nation £7.4 billion a year, our chief executive Tim Hollingsworth has welcomed the charter’s introduction.
“Physical activity has a key role to play in helping people manage and improve their health and wellbeing,” he said.
“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.
“This toolkit will help busy GPs talk to patients about getting active and recommend local opportunities as part of their routine practice.
“We’re delighted to be celebrating those GP practices who are promoting active lifestyles to patients and staff through the Active Practice Charter.”
Research shows that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by as much as 35% and decrease the risk of early death by as much as 30%.
And this charter builds on previous work aiming to boost the nation’s activity levels, including an initiative that sees GP practices encouraged to develop closer links with their local parkrun to become certified ‘parkrun practices’.