Physical Activity

Increasing physical activity has the potential to improve the physical and mental health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and the nation as a whole.

Persuading inactive people (those doing less than 30 minutes per week) to become more active could prevent one in ten cases of stroke and heart disease in the UK and one in six deaths from any cause. In fact it’s often said that if physical activity was a drug it would be classed as a wonder drug.

Regular physical activity can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions and diseases, many of which are on the rise and affecting people at an earlier age; 1 in 3 of the working age population have at least 1 long term condition.

Very Brief Intervention


What physical activities do you currently enjoy doing?

Physical activity doesn't have to cost anything, activities like gardening, walking, dancing, cycling and playing with your kids all count as physical activity

Did you know that 'Physical Activity' is defined is body movement that expends energy and raises the heart rate

Did you know that being active for just 10 minutes per day can boost your energy, clear your head and lift your mood?

Just 10 minutes of brisk walking will raise your heart rate and can go some way towards lowering your risk of serious illness, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Evidence has demonstrated the following health benefits from a brisk 10 minute walk every day:

  • Increased physical fitness¬†
  • Greater ease of performance of everyday physical activities¬†
  • Improved mood¬†
  • Improved quality of life¬†
  • Increased physical leanness and healthier weight.

Can you think of any benefits that this would have on your health and lifestyle?


Can you think of any opportunities that you may have to incorporate an active 10 minutes into your day?

Suggestions include:

  • Gardening¬†
  • Dancing
  • Brisk walk to the bus stop...maybe a stop that is slightly further away
  • Lunch time walk
  • A car park or parking space that is further away

Going back to the activities you enjoy doing either now or in the past, did you know?

  • It is recommended that adults do 150 minutes of physical activity per week, but this can be broken down into short 10 minutes sessions
  • Some people find it helpful to write down a weekly plan to help see when it may be easier to fit in some physical activity.¬†¬†
  • If you are goal driven then think of something realistic and achievable that you could work toward.¬† This could be starting on the Couch to 5k programme or undertaking a park run or walk with friend or family.¬†
  • If you spend a long time in a job that involves standing or sitting during the day, you may feel tired but have you had the physical activity you need? Your brain may tell you that it wants to relax from that stressful day...but you can reward you brain and your physical health by undertaking that activity event you promised you would do.
  • Remember small changes can make a big difference, its never too late to start moving more!¬†


 Self Care

  • The Couch to 5K¬†phone app has been designed to help get people off the couch and running in just 9 weeks.
  • The¬†Active 10 phone app show you how how much brisk walking you do and helps to show you how you can fit a ten minute brisk walk into your day. It breaks this brisk walking down into manageable chunks of ten minutes and encourages at least one session every day (which equates to 70 minutes a week). Users can set their own goals and the app encourages people to progress up to 30 brisk minutes of walking per day, to meet the 150 minutes recommended by the Chief Medical Officer
  • Why not join a Parkrun in your local area? Did you know that one of the best things about Parkrun and Junior Park run is that you can run, or jog or walk entirely at your own pace. This makes it accessible for those who never could envisage running 2k or 5k and creates an environment where people feel welcome.

Active Travel Toolkit

The Greater London Authority have produced a toolkit to support healthcare professionals to social prescribe active travel.

Local Support and Contact Details