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Nuffield Department for Primary Care Health Sciences Researcher, Dr David Nunan, delivered an engaging presentation to a group of GPs yesterday on ways they could get their patients to do more exercise.

Why is exercise on the primary care agenda
Dr David Nunan

In his enthusiasm, David convinced the audience to monitor their own pulse rate and urged everyone to fit in a little physical activity in-between slides.

Dr Nunan presented evidence showing there was overwhelming positivity from the public when asked whether they would exercise rather than take drugs, particularly if their GP believed that exercise would remedy their condition. However, NICE guidelines (2006) indicate that doctors have advised physical activity or exercise as part of lifestyle advice in only one quarter of potential opportunities. GPs have only considered completing a physical activity questionnaire (General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire - GPPAQ), developed to assist PCTs to assess and record physical activity as a risk factor for each of their patients  since its introduction to the Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF) in 2013.

Part of the problem is a lack of clear evidence of what works in terms of the type, amount and intensity of physical activity and which conditions and patients would benefit the most.

Dr Nunan and the research team of  Dr Kamal Mahtani, Ms Nia Roberts, Prof Carl Heneghan and Ms Rachna Begh, are funded by the National Institute of Health Research School of Primary Care Research (NIHR SPCR) to conduct the first overview of systematic reviews related to physical activity for the prevention and treatment of common chronic diseases.

They hope to identify the physical activity interventions that are most effective in preventing or treating major chronic disease and provide health professionals with some of the answers they seek.

Article from the NIHR SPCR.

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