Why it is Important to be Active – New Infographic Launched by the Scottish Government

Physical Activity Infographic

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Catherine Calderwood launched a new infographic on the 21 September at the Scottish Medical Leadership Conference in Glasgow. Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, also addressed the conference.

Based on UK CMO guidelines, the one page document is designed to encourage health professionals to speak to patients about why it’s important to be active. It highlights some of the benefits of physical activity, which can cut the chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 40 per cent, cardiovascular disease by 35 per cent, and breast and colon cancers by 20 per cent.

Dr Roderick Jaques, President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine UK, comments: “We welcome this straightforward initiative on the Government’s physical activity guidelines by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer. It is often hard for health professionals and patients to be able to take the time to address physical inactivity, with many different messages on the level and intensity required.

“This infographic sets out clearly how to start increasing physical activity to the right levels and the benefits it will bring. Just 10 minutes at a time of moderate activity, such as walking or gardening, which increases your heart rate and gets you moving will make an enormous difference.”

President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Professor Frank Dunn CBE said: “Increasing physical activity must be given equal priority to smoking cessation and addressing harmful use of alcohol.  Small changes in a person’s level of activity can significantly impact on their health – we know that just 30 minutes of exercise daily can reduced mortality by up to 30%. Of equal importance is the beneficial effect of physical activity on mental ill health.”

Fellow of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine and GP Dr Andrew Murray is supporting the launch: “Regular physical activity is one of the best presents we can give our children, improving marks at school, helping them live seven years longer, and making people happier on average. Both in general practice and in hospitals there is a real opportunity to promote regular physical activity in the same way we ask about smoking and alcohol and advise appropriately.

 “The efforts on physical activity are working – latest figures show more people are walking regularly in Scotland, whilst all the Universities have included teaching on physical activity for tomorrow’s doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.”

Click here to read the full news item from the Scottish Government.

Click here to download the CMO Physical Activity Infographic

The Scottish Medical Leadership Conference 2015 – Learning Lessons Leading Change is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.