Keep active (professional)
Key messages & facts
If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented.
The benefits of physical activity have been well documented and follow a dose-response curve i.e. a small amount of physical activity is good but more is better. However, greatest health benefits are observed in those who are sedentary and begin to undertake even a small amount of physical activity.
Participation in physical activity is a cost-effective way to improve both physical and mental health, it can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions. Having a physically active population can help reduce costs to the NHS and wider society. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.
| Disease||Risk reduction||Strength of evidence |
| CHD and Stroke
|Type 2 Diabetes
| Colon Cancer
| Breast Cancer
| Hip Fracture
| Alzheimer's Disease
Guidance from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) on how much physical activity people should be doing.
Health care professionals should routinely ask patients about their physical activity levels in consultations and give brief advice based on whether or not patients are meeting the CMO guidelines.
The General Practice Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPPAQ) is a validated screening tool, used in primary care to assess the physical activity levels of adults (16 to 74 years).
It provides a simple, 4 level physical activity index (PAI). Practitioners can use this index to help them decide when to offer interventions to increase physical activity.
According to self-report measures 1 in 4 adults do not meet the CMO guidance levels of physical activity.
Referral & pathways (mainstream BAU)
Patients should be encouraged to work towards the CMO guidelines by incorporating physical activity into their daily lives and be advised to reduce their sedentary time.
For physical activity opportunities available in each of the areas please click on your district below for guidance on giving brief intervention, support resources and local physical activity initiatives:
BMJ 9 e-learning modules for physical activity
Campaigns and initiatives
Hertfordshire's Year of Walking
The Countryside Management Service provides details on the FREE Hertfordshire Health Walks programme
Hertfordshire Workplace Activity Challenge
Hertfordshire Exercise Referral Scheme
Hertfordshire generic exercise referral form
The Daily Mile
More than 40 schools across the county have signed up to The Daily Mile, encouraging children to get outside in all weathers for 15 minutes every day to walk and run - on average about a mile.
It's completely free - there's no kit required so no time wasted getting changed. It's really flexible too - some schools timetable it, others run it when classroom concentration needs boosting.
Schools: Register online to take part and find everything that you need.
Email us if you have any questions or need any help. Let us know when you've registered and we'll send your school a certificate.
Data and information including JSNA
JSNA Activity and Weight
The Hertfordshire Public Health Strategy 2013-2017 Strategy
Evidence based around physical activity and mental health