Prescribe fitness classes to more obese and inactive people, advice suggests

According to the advice, more obese and inactive people should be prescribed exercise classes at local leisure centres.

A new analysis from the District Councils Network (DCN), commissioned by experts from the University of East Anglia, suggests almost a third of people currently get less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week.

The report found that if GPs prescribe local leisure services to a million inactive people over the next decade, it could prevent thousands of cases of illness, save the NHS more than £300million and prolong people’s life of about 3.7 years.

The DCN is calling on the government to invest in local sports and leisure services, which it says already have strong community ties and can work with groups such as charities to focus on hard-to-reach groups.

This scheme could help the NHS save over £300million (PA)

This action is suggested because council-run gymnasiums, sports halls and swimming pools have experienced financial difficulties as a result of the Covid pandemic.

According to the DCN, the councils are the largest provider of leisure and fitness services in the country, owning 2,727 leisure centres, 33% of all swimming pools and 31% of grass pitches in England.

Angie Dale, Healthy Communities Spokesperson for DCN, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, it is vital that we seize this as an opportunity to get the nation fit and healthy, and to continue to protect and support our NHS by preventing illness and disease. where we can.

“Our new report conclusively shows that local recreation centers can play a vital role in keeping people fit, and prescribing these services to people can increase life expectancy by up to four years.

“By providing long-term investments and integrating our municipalities’ excellent recreation and wellness services into health systems, we can increase life expectancy and combat growing health inequalities. This is leveling in action.

“Most of the wider determinants of public health are not driven by the NHS or local health bodies, but by the factors of daily life that district-level services help to shape.”

Only 3% of adults with a record of being overweight or obese in primary care in England were referred to weight management programs by their GP.

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