Exercise on doc's orders

March 24 2020

KINGSWOOD’S leisure centre has partnered with GP surgeries to relaunch a scheme that helps and supports people with medical or long-term conditions to become more active.

Exercise on doc's orders

The Healthy Lifestyle Referral Scheme has been developed for adults who are living with, or at risk of developing, a medical condition and qualify as inactive. A similar referral service was previously run by South Gloucestershire Council, until it was decommissioned in 2017. 

The Kingswood centre in Soundwell Road  is one of five Active Lifestyle Centres in the district to have since taken on the mantle, working with both the council and GP surgeries to establish the scheme.

Currently, one in four adults in South Gloucestershire are classed as physically inactive, achieving less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week, and as a result are at a much greater risk of developing serious chronic diseases. The scheme aims to address this by providing individuals with a health and wellbeing consultation and on-going support in achieving their personal goals throughout a 12-week programme. 

The scheme also supports the development of condition-specific exercise classes run by specialists, including sessions for those living with osteoarthritis or Parkinson’s. Aiming to promote an active mind as well as an active body, these group exercise sessions provide a social space for people to meet and chat, often with a common health goal. 

Other referral schemes run in the UK have relied on only GPs for referrals. The Healthy Lifestyle Referral Scheme is also open to referrals from other health professionals, such as specialist nurses or physiotherapists. This is to target those who are inactive but do not have regular contact with their GP. 

Other Active Lifestyle Centres are located in Longwell Green, Bradley Stoke, Thornbury and Yate.