Physical activity / Exercise as medicine

The aim of this SIG is to promote evidence based physical activity interventions in primary care.


1. To raise awareness of role of physical activity interventions in primary care.
2. Provide means for sharing ideas and knowledge of evidence based physical activity interventions.
3. To encourage a network of researchers and health care professionals interested in primary care based physical activity interventions.
4. To encourage and support well-conducted physical activity research in primary care that is relevant to the needs of patients and clinicians.
5. Support the dissemination and implementation of physical activity research findings.

Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (equating to 6% of deaths globally). Regular physical activity can reduce the risk of numerous long term conditions including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. Despite the widely reported benefits of physical activity, the majority of the UK population are insufficiently active to meet Department of Health physical activity recommendations.

We need new approaches in primary care to both prevention and treatment without the side-effects and costs of drug interventions. Physical activity is increasingly becoming a more prominent cost-effective and cost-saving health intervention for the prevention and treatment of the UK’s leading long term conditions.

Coordinators: Emma Healey and Mel Holden   

Emma Healey