What is an Active Practice and How do We Become One?
Posted: Tue, 19 Sep 2023 06:02
What is an Active Practice?
An Active Practice is a GP surgery that has taken steps to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity in it's staff and patients, and has signed up to the Active Practice Charter.
Why Become an Active Practice?
Being sedentary for 8 hours of the day can be disastrous for our health. Prolonged sedentary time is associated with doubling the risk to type 2 diabetes and is a major risk factor to many other long term health conditions including heart disease and hypertension .
Becoming an active practice can have huge positive impact on the health of everyone connected to the practice, from all staff members, to stakeholders including the members of the community and service users. Since being active is proven to reduce the risk of premature death, and so many long-term health conditions including type-2 diabetes, heart conditions and even depression, as well as improving our immunity to colds, the flu and even COVID-19, the change to becoming an active practice is one that will benefit the entire community.
How can we Become an Active Practice?
Becoming an Active Practice does not need to involve dramatic, expensive changes to the surgery, rather, you could simply move chairs to the side to encourage standing consultations where appropriate, encourage the use of standing desks and active break times.
All you need to do to become an Active Practice is to sign up and demonstrate that your practice has:
- taken steps to reduce sedentary behaviour in both staff and patients
- taken steps to increase physical activity in both staff and patients
- partnered with a local physical activity provider to encourage this
You will need to sign up with the Active Practice Charter. They outline key principles of what it means for a practice to be active and the steps GPs and their teams can take to get there. It is completely free, super easy and fun to become an Active Practice, and the movement does not need to be lead by a GP or a clinical staff member, making it more accessible for all GP surgeries.
The changes required to becoming an Active Practice are about making small, easy to implement changes that will work for you, your practice and you patients, and understanding how just a few minuet changes can have great impact on having a healthier life.
Whilst you're at it, as part of becoming an Active Practice, we recommend you also look into becoming a ParkRun practice too, one that encourages all staff members to take part in weekly park runs, not only as runners, but as walkers, joggers, volunteers or supporters too. Find out more here.
Support and Resources available:
There is plenty of help and free information online from Moving Medicine as well as on our website to help encourage practices to sign up to be an active practices, as well as guidance, resources, toolkits and e-learning on how you can effectively and cheaply implement changes at your surgery hassle-free to encourage your staff and patients to be more active.
If you want to make your surgery an Active Practice, get in touch with Huw Griffiths, our Strategic Lead on Active and Healthy Ageing at: email@example.com