As a nation, Scotland isn’t active enough for good health and we’re becoming increasingly overweight and obese.
Currently only 69% of men and 59% of women meet the recommended levels of physical activity of 30 minutes moderate intensity activity on 5 days of the week or 150 minutes in total over the week (Scottish Health Survey, 2016).
Let's Get Scotland Walking
There is a clear need for everyone to work together to promote more physically active lives and health and social care professionals can play a key role. Walking is the cheapest and easiest means of being physically active, here’s why:
- It’s free
- It’s accessible to all
- It’s within the physical capabilities of most people
- It combines physical activity with an opportunity for social contact and support
- It can be enjoyed safely with a low risk of injury
- It can be done in a formal group setting, increasing motivation and adherence
- It can encourage people to consider other aspects of their lifestyle e.g. healthy eating, stopping smoking and reducing stress
How we can help
Scottish Health Walk Network
There are lots of ways we can help to get your patients and clients more active. You could refer your patients to one of the 550 walks delivered every week by local Walking for Health groups. These groups are part of our Scottish Health Walk Network, a network of projects that have quality assured, safe, accessible and fun walks for all abilities, meaning you can refer patients with confidence.
Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland's Chief Medical Officer has endorsed our Health Walk Network saying that health professionals can feel confident about referring patients to Health Walks. She stressed the importance of walking as the easiest way to get physically active in the below video, which was filmed at the launch of the Scottish Health Walk Network.
Walking and long term conditions
A number of walks are also Cancer Friendly and Dementia Friendly. This means they are particularly suitable for people affected by these conditions with specifically trained volunteers and practical walk adaptations.
Strength and Balance
Our Strength and Balance programme offers training and resources to help you promote strength and balance exercises with advice on walking to help older adults stay active and independent.
We offer a range of training courses to help you understand more about how to promote walking to clients and patients and deliver walking activities. Visit our training page to see what we can offer. If you can't find what you're looking for we would be delighted to tailor a training programme to meet the needs of your staff.
'Walk More Feel the Difference' Leaflet for patients
Our 'Walk More feel the difference!' leaflet gives simple information for you to give to patients and clients to help them understand the benefits of walking. You can order these together with matching leaflet holders. Orders of up to 100 leaflets are free to Walking for Health schemes, community groups and voluntary organisations. There will be a charge of 20p per leaflet (plus postage) for other orders. Order by email or call the main office on 01259 218 888.
Encouraging staff to be more active can also help to raise the profile of physical activity within your workplace, clinic or healthcare setting with both staff and patients alike. Find out how we can help get your workplace active.
If you are a health professional looking to get your client group more active, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01259 218888.