Moving medicine

Moving Medicine, developed by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine in partnership with Public Health England, aims to provide healthcare professionals with the information and tools to assist individuals in becoming more physically active through a series of online disease-specific resources. The evidence-based benefits of physical activity are presented alongside a motivational interviewing framework to help guide clinicians through a physical activity consultation. Ten modules, including Musculoskeletal Pain and Inflammatory Rheumatic Disease which have been developed in collaboration with Versus Arthritis, were launched by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, on 16 October 2018 at the 7th International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) Congress in London.

Activity levels in the UK are low, and 26% of its population does less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Addressing this now is important because physical inactivity is responsible for more deaths than smoking, and contributes to the increasing burden of preventable illness, such as heart disease, diabetes and musculoskeletal pain. For instance, 44% of older adults with knee pain do not meet current physical activity guidelines. Additionally, physical activity has been demonstrated to reduce pain and stiffness and improve physical function in those with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip. These individuals also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, and physical activity can positively influence this risk.

It is important that these benefits are conveyed to patients and that common barriers are broken down in order to assist and support patients to live a more active lifestyle. Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in promoting physical activity, but historically the confidence and skills required to have good quality conversations to support behavioural change have been low. Moving Medicine is a new resource that has been designed to equip all healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills required to do this.

To find out more, visit www.movingmedicine.ac.uk.