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GPs to prescribe more exercise and physical activity

11 February 2009

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Exercise and physical activity are the latest watchwords in a bid by the government to get GPs to improve the public’s health.

The new Be Active, Be Healthy campaign will encourage doctors to “prescribe physical activity just as readily as drugs” in an attempt to get the nation on the move.

Figures show that PCTs spend an average £5m a year each on costs associated with heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes, all of which are linked to obesity.

A Department of Health spokesman has said that offering fitness advice has already worked well with drinkers and smokers.

Figures suggest that 27 million adults in England are not getting enough exercise, of which 14 million do less than 30 minutes a week.

A spokesman for the British Medical Association (BMA) said: “Many of these proposals are a step in the right direction.

“However, arrangements are not widespread and the government needs to provide better infrastructure, funding and guidance to make sure that health professionals are able to proactively prescribe physical activity more effectively.”

Copyright © Press Association 2009

British Medical Association

“No! I think they should mind their own business and give patients a bit of respect and dignity. I am sick of being hassled by my GP and nurse about how I am not eating correctly, not getting exercise, etc etc. Why don’t they just publish a book about it all that we can buy if we ‘CHOOSE’. The govt should get rid of this ‘nanny state’ policy and concentrate on getting their  own house in order!” – Helen Baxter, Manchester