The COVID-19 pandemic saw many changes to people’s lifestyles. Some were able to increase their physical activity levels. For many, however, a decrease was the reality. The Moving Healthcare Professionals Programme seeks to build confidence and encourage people to move more each day, and build physical activity into their daily routines.
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, 2019
Physical activity is seen as key to the prevention and management of over 30 different chronic medical conditions. This includes common conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, type 2 diabetes, mild to moderate depression and cancer.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw many changes to people’s lifestyles. Some were able to increase their physical activity levels. For many, however, a decrease was the reality. Isolation, through shielding, and changes in work and social patterns have has had a profound effect on all of us.
The Moving Healthcare Professionals programme has been developed by Public Health England (PHE) to build confidence and encourage people to move more each day and build physical activity into their daily routines. It offers free training and resources for health professionals to develop their confidence in having discussions with patients. The programme includes free e-learning or free peer training delivered by PHE Physical Activity Clinical Champions.
The Moving Healthcare resources are part of the range of the All Our Health sessions available on the e-Learning for Healthcare platform. The Moving Medicine online tool is another resource providing simple conversation guides to help people with long term conditions.
We all have a pivotal role to play in promoting physical activity. We can have a positive effect on both our own health and wellbeing, and also that of family, friends, and patients (if we are in a patient-facing role) by understanding the importance of increasing physical activity levels.
Physical activity is about moving more and can be as simple as walking rather than driving, using the stairs, getting up and doing some simple exercises during our working day.
Raising our heart rates to the point where we are feeling warmer and slightly out of breath (moderate intensity) is enough to make a difference to long term health. We can do this sitting or standing depending on our current physical ability. The advice from the Department of Health is for adults to undertake 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity and this can be broken down into small time periods if required. 10 minutes at a time is as effective as completing an hour’s walk if you do this regularly throughout the week.
At SCW we are committed to making a positive difference to patient care, aiming to improve population health at all levels. By understanding how we can improve physical activity levels both as individuals as well as within SCW teams, collectively we can have a significant impact on the prevention and management of chronic disease. Our Cancer and Long-Term Conditions team work on a range of assignments that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of patients across a wide geographical area.
Currently, several SCW staff are supporting the #WeActiveChallenge on Twitter, a campaign and competition to help get NHS staff more active during August.