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Fitness industry has a critical role to play in healthcare says new report
12 Jan 2022 . BY Tom Walker
Social prescribing connects people to activities based on what interests them / Shutterstock/ALPA PROD
The UK government should encourage – and make it easier – for doctors and other health and care professionals to refer people to fitness facilities in order to reduce pressures on the health service.

A report launched today (12 January) calls for health clubs, leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools to serve more people through the mechanism of social prescribing.

Called Leading the Change: social prescribing within the fitness and leisure sector, the report outlines recommendations to members, partners and policymakers for growing the sector’s role in the health system.

Published by the UK Active Research Institute, it makes four key recommendations to develop and grow social prescribing.

These include raising awareness over the role of physical activity facilities and the social prescribing opportunities they offer in managing people's long-term health conditions.

The report also calls for more leisure facilities to be connected to existing community networks – in order to provide more opportunities for cross-sector partnerships – and for the sector-wide measurement of social prescribing to be aligned to NHS England’s Common Outcomes Framework.

Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active, says the fitness and leisure sector already plays a "major role" in community healthcare, by providing rehabilitation from COVID-19 and cardiac, pulmonary and musculoskeletal conditions, as well as delivering 66 per cent of the nation’s cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation services.

“As our health service comes under even greater pressures and the backlog for treatment grows, it's essential we look differently at how healthcare-related physical activity could be delivered in gyms and leisure centres within our communities," Edwards said.

“We publish this report at a critical moment for the future of our nation’s health, happiness and wellbeing and we must ensure every gym, pool and leisure centre is supported to survive the current financial crisis in order to fulfil their essential role in preventative health.

“Our findings indicate a strong desire and huge potential to expand social prescribing delivery within the fitness and leisure sectors, but we will need the full support of the Government and its agencies to support our sector, unlock the appropriate funding mechanisms, and raise awareness of these services in our facilities.

“We'll continue to work tirelessly with our partners in the health and social care world so we can realise the full potential of social prescribing within our sector and achieve our shared ambitions.”

Social prescribing connects people to community support in the fitness sector, based on what interests them, and helps address issues affecting their health and wellbeing.

Working alongside GPs, social prescribing link workers connect people to activities such as fitness groups, swimming, walking, dancing and running – depending on what the person likes and what will benefit them.

James Sanderson, CEO, National Academy of Social Prescribing, said: “Physical activity is often described as a ‘wonder drug’ because of the wide range of health conditions it can help prevent or treat. But for many of us, there are barriers to participating in sport or fitness activities – and that’s where social prescribing can make a real difference.

“This report demonstrates some of the good work that’s already happening in this area, but it’s also clear that there’s more to do to raise awareness about social prescribing in the sport and leisure sectors, and to ensure that providers have the resources and knowledge they need.

“We look forward to working with ukactive and other partners to help providers connect with social prescribing link workers and community groups. By working together, we can ensure that more people are able to get active in a way that meets their needs and preferences.”

To read an interview with James Sanderson, click here for HCM Issue 9/2021.

To download the Leading the Change: social prescribing within the fitness and leisure sector report, click here.
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
PRODUCT NEWS
Fitness industry has a critical role to play in healthcare says new report
12 Jan 2022 . BY Tom Walker
Social prescribing connects people to activities based on what interests them / Shutterstock/ALPA PROD
The UK government should encourage – and make it easier – for doctors and other health and care professionals to refer people to fitness facilities in order to reduce pressures on the health service.

A report launched today (12 January) calls for health clubs, leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools to serve more people through the mechanism of social prescribing.

Called Leading the Change: social prescribing within the fitness and leisure sector, the report outlines recommendations to members, partners and policymakers for growing the sector’s role in the health system.

Published by the UK Active Research Institute, it makes four key recommendations to develop and grow social prescribing.

These include raising awareness over the role of physical activity facilities and the social prescribing opportunities they offer in managing people's long-term health conditions.

The report also calls for more leisure facilities to be connected to existing community networks – in order to provide more opportunities for cross-sector partnerships – and for the sector-wide measurement of social prescribing to be aligned to NHS England’s Common Outcomes Framework.

Huw Edwards, CEO of UK Active, says the fitness and leisure sector already plays a "major role" in community healthcare, by providing rehabilitation from COVID-19 and cardiac, pulmonary and musculoskeletal conditions, as well as delivering 66 per cent of the nation’s cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation services.

“As our health service comes under even greater pressures and the backlog for treatment grows, it's essential we look differently at how healthcare-related physical activity could be delivered in gyms and leisure centres within our communities," Edwards said.

“We publish this report at a critical moment for the future of our nation’s health, happiness and wellbeing and we must ensure every gym, pool and leisure centre is supported to survive the current financial crisis in order to fulfil their essential role in preventative health.

“Our findings indicate a strong desire and huge potential to expand social prescribing delivery within the fitness and leisure sectors, but we will need the full support of the Government and its agencies to support our sector, unlock the appropriate funding mechanisms, and raise awareness of these services in our facilities.

“We'll continue to work tirelessly with our partners in the health and social care world so we can realise the full potential of social prescribing within our sector and achieve our shared ambitions.”

Social prescribing connects people to community support in the fitness sector, based on what interests them, and helps address issues affecting their health and wellbeing.

Working alongside GPs, social prescribing link workers connect people to activities such as fitness groups, swimming, walking, dancing and running – depending on what the person likes and what will benefit them.

James Sanderson, CEO, National Academy of Social Prescribing, said: “Physical activity is often described as a ‘wonder drug’ because of the wide range of health conditions it can help prevent or treat. But for many of us, there are barriers to participating in sport or fitness activities – and that’s where social prescribing can make a real difference.

“This report demonstrates some of the good work that’s already happening in this area, but it’s also clear that there’s more to do to raise awareness about social prescribing in the sport and leisure sectors, and to ensure that providers have the resources and knowledge they need.

“We look forward to working with ukactive and other partners to help providers connect with social prescribing link workers and community groups. By working together, we can ensure that more people are able to get active in a way that meets their needs and preferences.”

To read an interview with James Sanderson, click here for HCM Issue 9/2021.

To download the Leading the Change: social prescribing within the fitness and leisure sector report, click here.
PRODUCT NEWS
Danny Williams, Michael Griffiths and Reshmin Chowdhury take up TRAINFITNESS’ free PT courses
2021 has been dubbed the year of the ‘Great Resignation’, with numerous people in the UK reassessing their career path.
Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington breaks ground ahead of new Rainham Leisure Centre
Everyone Active has got the New Year off to a flying start as it begins work on the brand new Rainham Leisure Centre.
Jonny Curley joins Alliance Leisure
To kick off the new year, Alliance Leisure has announced the appointment of industry heavy- weight, Jonny Curley, to drive leisure development across Scotland.
Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
Future Fit strengthens commitment to sector with Future Fit Group
After more than 28 years of successful growth and development, and over 50,000 learners trained, training provider Future Fit Training has become part of the newly formed Future Fit Group.
Everlast expand into gyms with inaugural opening in Denton
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Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGym [more...]
+ More profiles  
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+ More catalogues  

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Retrofit London creates personalised experience, premium service and sensational classes in partnership with Technogym Find out more...
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Spatex 2022

Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
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Fair District, Bologna, Italy
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Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2022

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