Scientific Evidence Supporting Physical Activity

The evidence over the past 10 years has now made inactivity perhaps the greatest threat to physical and mental health and a key contributing factor to the rise of diabetes and many other long term conditions. Increasing evidence shows that addressing inactivity is just as important as managing smoking habits and hypertension with strong arguments that we need to give it more attention than just obesity itself.

Caring for people with long term conditions is a major element of NHS’s work. On this page you can see some of the evidence on why more premature deaths will be prevented by addressing very low levels of cardio-respiratory fitness in a local population than for any other risk factor and how physical activity is as effective as many other therapies in treating long term conditions.

Primary prevention of disease and physical activity

Treating chronic disease with physical activity

Behaviour Change: Tips for Clinicians

Mechanisms of Physical Activity – How does it work?

Cost benefit for getting people active in Birmingham

The important publications to read about physical activity

BMJ Learning – Physical activity in the treatment of long term conditions

These are very up to date BMJ E-learning modules on chronic disease and physical activity. The course gives the clinician a pragmatic approach to prescribing the “Physical Active Drug” during consultations.

Related services


Find details of hundreds of local places where you can have fun and get active.



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