'Safe, convenient and clean' roads key to encouraging healthier lifestyles, says RCGP

Publication date: 04 January 2019

Responding to NICE's draft quality standard for encouraging physical activity, published today [Friday 4 January], Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

"We know that being physically active is a vital part of living a healthy lifestyle, which is good for everyone's long-term physical and mental health and wellbeing and in turn good for the NHS as a whole, so whatever can be done to encourage and inspire people to get up and move more should be done.

"Diseases and health conditions linked to a sedentary lifestyle cause millions of patients and their families untold misery, and they cost the NHS billions a year at a time when every penny really does count. It is a courageous move by NICE to challenge sectors outside of healthcare, but one that recognises the need for a society-wide approach to encouraging people to take steps to be more active and lead healthier lifestyles, and the notion of people from the health community working with those in other sectors is a good and important one.

"People are more likely to exercise - or simply choose to walk instead of drive - on roads that safe, convenient and clean.

"Physical activity and lifestyle is a clinical priority for the RCGP and we have appointed our own clinical champions to support GPs to encourage patients to make simple lifestyle changes that could have a positive impact on their health. As part of this work we have recently partnered with parkrun UK, and over 500 practices have already signed up to recommend local parkruns to patients to be more active."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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