For Patients


Physical Activity in the Prevention of Disease

Members and Fellows of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine are trained in Exercise Medicine and physical activity as a means to prevent and manage many common conditions. They are also experts in Musculoskeletal (MSK) Medicine and use their skills in the prevention and treatment of MSK conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.

Part of this is the promotion of regular physical activity, which can reduce a person’s risk of chronic disease such as heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and diabetes from 30% to 50% and vastly improve MSK conditions.

Physical activity is a proven way of preventing and managing many conditions and the health benefits of regular physical activity in the prevention of chronic disease are irrespective of age, social-economic group or cultural origin.

Does it really work?

The evidence that physical activity prevents major chronic disease is contained in our NHS facing document A Fresh Approach produced by the FSEM (UK) and NHS North West.

The evidence for Sport and Exercise Medicine led Musculoskeletal services in the NHS is contained in our second NHS facing document A Fresh Approach in Practice. 

How much physical activity should I do?

The FSEM (UK) supports and promotes the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Guidelines for physical activity in children and adults. You can access factsheets on physical activity levels for your life stage on the GOV.UK physical activity guidelines webpage.

Or take a look at the CMO physical activity infographics.

Physical activity when living with a condition

The FSEM (UK) also supports GP physical activity assessment and exercise prescription. Exercise prescription, for many common conditions, is part of Sport and Exercise Medicine training and we’d like it to become part of all medical training. Ask your GP about physical activity referral, support and classes which are specific to your condition.

Can I see a Sport and Exercise Medicine Doctor? 

Our Members and Fellows work in a variety of settings in the NHS and in private clinics. Look online for your nearest Sport and Exercise Medicine clinic or ask your GP Surgery if there is access to a GP with a special interest in Sport and Exercise Medicine.