Friday 15 December 2017

GPs prescribe exercises

Sonia O'Sullivan, Vodafone CEO Anne O'Leary, and Vodafone employees Paul Foley and Sarah-Jane McGibney (wearing wetsuits), help launch the 2016 Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon which takes place on August 28 .Photo:Naoise Culhane
Sonia O'Sullivan, Vodafone CEO Anne O'Leary, and Vodafone employees Paul Foley and Sarah-Jane McGibney (wearing wetsuits), help launch the 2016 Vodafone Dublin City Triathlon which takes place on August 28 .Photo:Naoise Culhane

GPs regularly advise patients to exercise, but what if they gave them an actual physical activity prescription?

Instead of dishing out drugs, they could consider tailoring an exercise programme to the needs of an individual patient, giving them set targets to meet.

A study presented at a conference at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin tracked a group of patients who were given this exercise prescription.

A total of 368 patients (83pc) completed the six month follow-up.In the whole group, 270 patients (75pc) had increased their physical activity level.

And 153 patients (42pc) had moved from being inadequately to sufficiently physically active.

Significant improvements were shown in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, systolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL).

There were also positive signs in general health, vitality, social function, mental health, role limitation-physical/emotional, mental component summary and physical component summary.

The study, which related to patients in Sweden, suggested that significant benefits can emerge.

The effort overall was considered small and the budget was low.

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