Sport and Exercise Medicine has a role to play in improving the health of 1.3million NHS staff

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK (FSEM) welcomes the announcement by NHS England to improve and support the health and wellbeing of 1.3million health service staff.

There is a strong link between musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders and workplace wellness with half of NHS absence due to sickness being as a result of an MSK condition[i]. A significant proportion of absences could be prevented or treated more rapidly via physical activity and exercise.

Dr Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, comments: “Healthcare providers who are physically active, as part of a workplace wellness scheme, will not only gain personal health benefits, but they are likely to promote physical activity to their patients.

“The challenge now is how to deliver workplace wellness strategies across the biggest employer in Europe. Sport and Exercise Medicine specialists are ideally placed to support NHS staff wellbeing through, evidence based, sustainable, workforce centred, physical activity interventions. This could cost effectively deliver the prevention and treatment of many musculoskeletal conditions and reduce the risk of expensive and debilitating diseases.”

There are clear indirect benefits of physical activity to the wider economy. People who are physically active are more productive, they take less time off work, consume less healthcare resources and are happier.[ii]

Regular physical activity is effective in the primary prevention of chronic disease[iii]:

Disease State Risk Reduction
Ischaemic heart disease 40%
Stoke 27%
Colon cancer 25%
Breast cancer 24%
Type 2 diabetes 30%
Hypertension 50%


Follow FSEM on Twitter @FSEM_UK  Linkedin and Facebook  Web:

For further information contact Beth Cameron, PR & Communications for the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Email:, Tel: 0131 527 3498, Mobile: 07551903702

[ii] Sport and Exercise Medicine A Fresh Approach – Physical activity in the prevention of chronic disease

[iii] Sport and Exercise Medicine A Fresh Approach – Physical activity in the prevention of disease