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Let's get physical

Even health professionals need to increase their levels of physical activity.

Health professionals in New Zealand are able to provide patients with a "Green Prescription" advising them to be physically active, as part of the patient’s health management. Research shows that health practitioners who are themselves physically active are more likely to use a Green Prescription. Sport Otago was therefore curious to know how physically active Otago health professionals are.

After a preliminary study of Dunedin health professionals in 2019, Sport, Exercise and Health student Lewis Kelly designed a questionnaire, a link to which was emailed to health professionals on the Sport Otago database. He analysed the results and reported his findings to the organisation.

Lewis found that all research participants had good knowledge about the benefits of physical activity, although he identified an opportunity for further education about the full range of medical conditions that might benefit from patients increasing their physical activity. All participants in his research were willing to provide Green Prescriptions. However despite their knowledge about the benefits of physical activity the majority of health professionals were not themselves meeting the Ministry of Health guidelines which recommend physical activity five times per week.

June 2021

Image credit: Coen van de Broek, sourced from Unsplash