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FSEM comment on Government response to House of Lords Report

Following the Government response to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s report Sport and exercise science and medicine: building on the Olympic legacy to improve the nation’s health, FSEM has released the comment below to press.

Dr Rod Jaques, Sport and Exercise Medicine Consultant and President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine said of the Government’s response:

“The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine shares the House of Lords’ disappointment in the lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to the health benefits of exercise. Government is presented with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, following the excitement of the Olympics, to harness the public’s enthusiasm and tackle the UK’s biggest health crisis – physical inactivity. Aspirations to increase participation in sport are all well and good, but the use of sport and exercise to improve the nation’s health could save the NHS and our economy billions of pounds every year, in addition to seriously decreasing rates of non-communicable diseases, including many forms of cancer.

We have always championed the promotion of physical activity by GPs, but the responsibility of physical activity promotion should not lie with GPs alone. We strongly feel that, to deliver this effectively and safely, exercise needs to be part of an established care-pathway where the treatment is evidence-based and all its practitioners are properly trained and work in a multi-disciplinary environment. This requires support from Government and buy-in from the wider medical community if it is to ensure a long lasting, sustainable change in sedentary attitudes.”

The report, Sport and exercise science and medicine: building on the Olympic legacy to improve the nation’s health can be found here. The Government’s response, from the Department of Health, can be found here.