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BMJ research: benefits of exercise referral schemes 'not as large as hoped'
02 Dec 2019 . BY Tom Walker
The study drew on data from 23,731 active participants in 13 different exercise referral schemes
Photo: Shutterstock
The improvements in health and wellbeing associated with exercise referral schemes aren’t as large as hoped, according to a new study.

A team of researchers looked at data from 23,731 active participants in 13 different exercise referral schemes in the UK, lasting between six weeks and three months, which had been entered into the dedicated National Referral Database.

They looked at measurements recorded at the beginning and end of the schemes in weight (BMI), blood pressure, resting heart rate – as well as scores on internationally-validated mental health, wellbeing, quality of life and exercise confidence scales.

An analysis of the data, Published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, revealed significant improvements in most of the included measures – the exceptions being resting heart rate (a known risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading, signifying the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats).

But when these figures were compared with thresholds for clinical “meaningfulness”, the changes didn’t reach these thresholds. In other words, the size of the changes was so small that it made rendering their impact unclear.

The study also found that the referral schemes varied considerably in length and content, as did the characteristics of the participants, so it’s not clear which combination of activities and length of scheme might be most effective, or for whom.

"This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause," the study reads.

"And there were considerable differences in outcomes between individual schemes.

"Currently there is a lack of agreement of what constitutes ‘impact’ with respect to the evaluation of exercise referral schemes and the evidence presented here from one of the largest databases of them does little to support the use of them."

The researchers also suggest that, given how widely used the exercise referrals are, a more critical approach is needed.

“These findings support the need to consider exercise referral schemes, particularly their implementation, more critically, using real world data to understand how best to maximise their potential, particularly considering the known benefits of exercise and the research of [exercise referral schemes] across the UK,” the study reads in its conclusion.

Click here to download and read the full study, titled Effect of exercise referral schemes upon health and well-being: initial observational insights using individual patient data meta-analysis from the National Referral Database.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is published by the BMJ Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association.
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PRODUCT NEWS
BMJ research: benefits of exercise referral schemes 'not as large as hoped'
02 Dec 2019 . BY Tom Walker
The study drew on data from 23,731 active participants in 13 different exercise referral schemes
Photo: Shutterstock
The improvements in health and wellbeing associated with exercise referral schemes aren’t as large as hoped, according to a new study.

A team of researchers looked at data from 23,731 active participants in 13 different exercise referral schemes in the UK, lasting between six weeks and three months, which had been entered into the dedicated National Referral Database.

They looked at measurements recorded at the beginning and end of the schemes in weight (BMI), blood pressure, resting heart rate – as well as scores on internationally-validated mental health, wellbeing, quality of life and exercise confidence scales.

An analysis of the data, Published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, revealed significant improvements in most of the included measures – the exceptions being resting heart rate (a known risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease) and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number in a blood pressure reading, signifying the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats).

But when these figures were compared with thresholds for clinical “meaningfulness”, the changes didn’t reach these thresholds. In other words, the size of the changes was so small that it made rendering their impact unclear.

The study also found that the referral schemes varied considerably in length and content, as did the characteristics of the participants, so it’s not clear which combination of activities and length of scheme might be most effective, or for whom.

"This is an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause," the study reads.

"And there were considerable differences in outcomes between individual schemes.

"Currently there is a lack of agreement of what constitutes ‘impact’ with respect to the evaluation of exercise referral schemes and the evidence presented here from one of the largest databases of them does little to support the use of them."

The researchers also suggest that, given how widely used the exercise referrals are, a more critical approach is needed.

“These findings support the need to consider exercise referral schemes, particularly their implementation, more critically, using real world data to understand how best to maximise their potential, particularly considering the known benefits of exercise and the research of [exercise referral schemes] across the UK,” the study reads in its conclusion.

Click here to download and read the full study, titled Effect of exercise referral schemes upon health and well-being: initial observational insights using individual patient data meta-analysis from the National Referral Database.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is published by the BMJ Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association.
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As countries around the world gear up to relax their lockdown rules, there remains a question mark over gyms and studios, which in many markets will be one of the last sectors to be given the green light.
myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
EGYM presents Corona Gym Solution, for the successful re-opening of fitness studios
Finally, the time has come: fitness and health facilities around the globe are gradually resuming operations.
Bicester hotel opens purpose-built performance facilities to attract new target audience
The Bicester Hotel and Spa has launched purpose-built fitness and performance facilities to create a standalone, unique offering to attract a new demographic to the site.
EGYM launches digital functionality to help gyms adjust to a post lockdown world
As Governments turn attention to a lockdown exit strategy, the world is bracing itself for a ‘new norm’ where social distancing and heightened hygiene requirements become a part of daily life.
Adidas calls on BLK BOX for flooring solutions at new World of Sports complex
Adidas believes that creators, just like athletes, need an environment that inspires their employees to perform and believe that through sport, we have the power to change lives.
Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
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There is no escaping the fact that we are operating in extraordinary times. Our physical health clubs, gyms and studios are closed and we’re trying to keep our membership engaged, fit and healthy via online and digital training.
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COMPANY PROFILES
Technogym

Technogym provides a complete range of best-in-class cardiovascular, strength and functional equip [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

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Technogym mywellness app
Improve your training experience. All your data in a single app. Find out more...
+ More videos  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

10-11 Jul 2020

IFBA Live

The Slate at Warwick Conferences, Coventry, United Kingdom
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APSWC Round Table 2020

Naman Resort, Da Nang, Vietnam
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
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PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS