Overcoming barriers to physical activity and how social prescribing could be the solution

I’m Michelle Roberts, and I work for a group of health and care charities (The Richmond Group of Charities) overseeing a programme that aims to support people living with long-term conditions to be active.

We’re coming to the end of a long, cold January and as is customary at this time of year, many of us have considered creating new habits over the last month; in particular many of us will have toyed with idea of increasing the amount of physical activity we do. For some of us this change may be easier to enact than for others.

For example, if you’re one of the 43% of adults living in England with a long-term health condition, it’s very likely you’ll find it harder to make this change. Sport England data suggest that people with long-term health conditions are twice as likely as those without a health condition to be inactive, ie do less than thirty minutes of physical activity a week.

But why is this? Well research from the We Are Undefeatable campaign and the Richmond Group of Charities indicate that there’s an assortment of barriers related to our capability, opportunity and motivation to be active, which prevents many of us from being able to kick-start a new habit of moving more. This is despite the fact that physical activity improves physical and mental health, wellbeing, quality of life as well as help reduce social isolation.

Whilst there isn’t a magic-bullet for this issue there are some useful insights and resources that can help us work together to overcome this challenge and social prescribing offers a fantastic opportunity to reach the people with most to gain from increasing their activity levels.

To hear us debunk some of the myths about physical activity and find out the five things you need to know about how you can help support people with long-term conditions to move more please join us for the Thriving Communities webinar on physical activity on 25th January at 3pm. Now available to catch up.