Prescribing exercise 'improves quality of life'
12 December 2008 00:00 in Industry related health news
Doctors should be prescribing increased physical activity for patients who are keen to improve their quality of life, according to a recent report.
A study published by the British Medical Journal today claims regular exercise reduces the risk of heart and lung disease, type two diabetes, some cancers and death from all causes by an estimated 20 to 30 per cent.
The findings could boost the numbers of patients being prescribed exercise as the government wants at least 70 per cent of the population to be taking part in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, five times a week by 2020.
Currently, only 40 per cent of men and 28 per cent of women in the UK are meeting this target.
Dr Beverley Lawton and colleagues examined the effectiveness of a primary care-based programme of 'exercise on prescription' in 1,089 less active women aged between 40 and 74, over two years.
At the start of the study, just 10 per cent of intervention participants and 11 per cent of the control participants were achieving 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
However, the researchers found that both groups increased their physical activity over the two years, but activity was significantly higher in the intervention group.
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Story collated for Zenopa by the Adfero News Agency