Info for Health Professionals
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Physical activity for health

Physical inactivity is the fourth greatest cause of ill health in the UK. It is implicated in one in six deaths, - the same as smoking. It's reckoned, up to 40% of long-term conditions could be prevented if everyone met the Chief Medical Officer’s physical activity recommendations.

In Surrey over one in five people - 200,000+ adults - are classified as wholly ‘inactive’, meaning they do less than 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, per week. County trends and results by borough, can be found in our 'Active Lives' charts.

The inactive are at high risk of developing long-term health conditions, a situation that is made worse by the fact that when they develop illness, they generally become even less active.

In children and young people physical activity plays an important role in their development and helps mental wellbeing, quality of life and self-esteem. Yet in Surrey more than a quarter of children do less than half of the recommended activity for their age. 


One of five statements from consensus - risks are low but that's not what patients feel

Exercise and health conditions

A peer-reviewed consensus statement published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that the benefits of moving more clearly outweigh any potential risk for those with long term health conditions (excluding a handful of conditions like ME and long-COVID for which evidence isn't clear).

Simply put, any amount of movement will help and there is usually no need to gain 'permission' from health professionals provided patients start gradually. However this is often contrary to the perceptions of patients themselves

Sport England worked with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK and the Royal College of General Practitioners to devise five overarching statements in support of the consensus, with eight symptom-specific guidelines. You can read more on the Moving Medicine website.

For patients with long term health conditions, We Are Undefeatable offers suggestions from 16 leading health and social care charities on how to introduce movement into each day.

Training for health professionals

Training options featured here link to the role and positive impact physical activity can have. See what's on offer for Surrey.

Surrey's Active Ageing network

Falls and other conditions needn't be an inevitable consequence of ageing. Coming soon,
let us keep you abreast of the latest advice on introducing physical activity in your patient interactions 


Active Hospitals

A toolkit especially designed to help establishments in getting patients more active during and after their stay in hospital

Active / parkrun Practices

Along with its parkrun practice initiative, the RGCP have a host of resources to help you get patients moving a little more on their physical activity hub

Giving information to patients

You can refer patients to the Healthy Surrey website for advice and information on activities in Surrey. We also have an activity finder which is a free service for instructors and clubs to list activities that are readily open to members of the public.

Active Surrey programmes to refer into:

Falls Prevention Pathway

Family weight management service

The role of Active Surrey

We are the strategic lead for physical activity for the county, focussing on systems, people and place. We work closely with boroughs, districts, public health and many other providers across the county - in particular those who fall within the Surrey Heartlands Health & Care Partnership. Our work ranges from involvement in committees to provide insight and advice, to running commissioned services.

Community engagement and insight are pivotal in all the work we do to change people's behaviour. Please talk to us to see whether we can help you develop your strategies or ideas relating to physical activity by contacting Charlotte Long, Health Manager.