HCM Issue 1 2022

Page 24

HCM people

We found the benefits of physical activity outweigh the risks – and the risk is very low photo: dr natasha jones

Dr Natasha Jones Co-author, the Benefits Outweigh the Risk report

photo: suzi gardner

Suzi Gardner

National partnership lead for health, Sport England

A new report called Benefits Outweigh the Risk has established that exercise is safe for the vast majority of people – even those with medical conditions. Kath Hudson talks to the team driving the initiative 24

Issue 1 2022 ©Cybertrek 2022

The Benefits Outweigh the Risk report is a follow-up to a 2015 research study called Exercise, the Miracle Cure. Why is it needed and what’s the aim? Suzi Gardner: Across a large time period Sport England has heard messages about the concept of risk with regards to people getting active. Patients who need exercise have concerns that it might make their symptoms worse, or even cause a catastrophic event, such as a heart attack, while 46 per cent of healthcare professionals reported that not knowing how to advise patients how to safely take part in physical activity – and not knowing how to allay their concerns about taking part – is a barrier to signposting for them. This has precipitated a huge discussion with a range of partners, looking at how we can work together to maximise the role physical activity can play, whether that’s supporting people through ill health, or supporting the management of a condition. This new research set out to weigh up the risks of physical activity for all adults with long term conditions and to find ways to overcome the barriers for exercise referral. The statements and advice have been written very specifically by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. This isn’t a standalone piece of work – there are lots of pieces to this jigsaw – but Sport England sees Benefits Outweigh the Risk as a critical piece of work (www.hcmmag.com/benefits/risk).