Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Government invests £12.7m in ‘exercise prescription’ trials

Doncaster and Leeds are amongst areas of the UK to share in £12.7m from the government for a trial scheme in which GPs will issue ‘social prescriptions’, including walking, wheeling and cycling, aimed at improving mental and physical health.

The pilots, a commitment in the government’s Gear Change plan published in 2020, aim to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual’s health, such as reduced GP appointments and reliance on medication due to more physical activity. For the first time, transport, active travel and health officials will work together towards a whole systems approach to health improvement and tackling health disparities.

Walking and Cycling Minister Trudy Harrison said:  Walking and cycling has so many benefits – from improving air quality in our communities to reducing congestion on our busiest streets. It also has an enormous positive impact on physical and mental health, which is why we have funded these projects which will get people across the country moving and ease the burden on the NHS.”

National Active Travel Commissioner Chris Boardman said: “As a nation we need healthier, cheaper and more pleasant ways to get around for everyday trips. Active Travel England’s mission is to ensure millions of people nationwide can do just that – so it’s easier to leave the car at home and to enjoy the benefits that come with it.

“Moving more will lead to a healthier nation, a reduced burden on the NHS, less cancer, heart disease and diabetes, as well as huge cost savings. This trial aims to build on existing evidence to show how bringing transport, active travel and health together can make a positive impact on communities across England.”

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