Exercise referrals 'only backed by weak evidence'

Wednesday 9th November 2011
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A new study has found that there is only weak evidence to support the practice of exercise referrals by those in hospital doctor jobs.

Research published in the British Medical Journal has questioned the effectiveness of these schemes in delivering improved health outcomes and higher physical activity rates.

While the Universities of Exeter team behind the report emphasised the importance of physical activity promotion, it questioned whether referrals were the most cost effective way to change population prevalence.

In referral schemes, GPs or primary care team staff refer selected patients to exercise specialists at local gyms and sports centres.

The report claimed that few randomised control trials have assessed the impact of the measures and have not investigated the health-related benefits for those with pre-existing conditions.

Government projections for 2050 place the number of obese people in the UK at 60 per cent of men, 50 per cent of women and a quarter of all children if no action is taken to address this problem.

Posted by Martin LambertADNFCR-1780-ID-800791503-ADNFCR

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