There are over 650,000 healthcare professionals in the country, each estimated to see nearly half a million patients during their career. They’re considered a trusted source of advice, so what they say about physical activity, and how they raise it as a topic, could have a big impact on activity levels.

Yet nearly three quarters of healthcare professionals don't speak about the benefits of physical activity to their patients because of either a lack of knowledge, skills or confidence, with 80% reporting being unfamiliar with the national physical activity guidelines.

We are focused on supporting healthcare professionals across Greater Manchester to increase their knowledge and confidence in incorporating physical activity within routine care to provide better patient outcomes.

“If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and help treat.” UK Chief Medical Officers Physical Activity Guidelines, 2019

Regular physical activity offers a range of physical health, mental health, and social benefits, many of which are increasing in prevalence for individuals, communities and society. These include:

  • reducing the risk of many long-term conditions  
  • helping manage existing conditions and deliver better patient outcomes
  • ensuring good musculoskeletal health
  • developing and maintaining physical and mental function and independence
  • supporting social inclusion and reducing loneliness
  • helping maintain a healthy weight
  • reducing inequalities for people with long-term conditions

With the impact of Covid-19, an increasing number of people living with and managing long-term conditions and the strong evidence base for physical activity as a prevention and treatment tool, it is important that healthcare professionals have the knowledge, skills and confidence to have physical activity-related conversations with patients.

Be inspired

Embedding physical activity into long-established healthcare practices can feel daunting. But many healthcare professionals are already embedding physical activity into how they work.

Alvanley Family Practice in Stockport worked together with patients to improve the health and wellbeing of people living within the local community, not just their patients. Watch the video below to learn more about their story.

Further details please contact

Resources to support healthcare professionals

Moving Healthcare professionals

The Moving Healthcare Professionals programme provides free, online peer-to-peer group training and practical resources to support healthcare professionals to provide brief physical activity advice for the management and prevention of common conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Find out more here

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Physical Activity Toolkit

The toolkit has been designed by the 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.

Find out more here

RCGP Active Practice Charter

The Active Practice Charter is fun, easy way to make some simple but impactful changes in GP Practice that will demonstrate to your patients and staff that you mean it when you say that movement is the best medicine.

Find out more here

Better Health Campaign

A range of digital resources to take the first steps towards making positive, healthier choices. 

Find out more here