Return to PH44 Overview

Physical activity: brief advice for adults in primary care [PH44]

Measuring the use of this guidance

Recommendation: 1

Identifying adults who are inactive • Identify adults who are not currently meeting the UK physical activity guidelines (see box 1). This could be done, for example: o when the opportunity arises during a consultation with a primary care practitioner or while people are waiting o as part of a planned session on management of long-term conditions. • Use professional judgement to determine when this assessment would be most appropriate, for example, when someone is presenting with a condition that could be alleviated by physical activity. When assessing activity levels, remain sensitive to people's overall circumstances. If it is not appropriate during the current consultation, carry out an assessment at the next available opportunity. • Do not rely on visual cues (for example, body weight). Use validated tools such as GPPAQ[1] to assess physical activity levels. • For people who are not meeting the UK guidelines, identify the most appropriate time to discuss physical activity with them. This might be during the current consultation or in a later consultation, and might involve referral to another member of the primary care team. If they agree to a future consultation, make sure it occurs at the earliest opportunity. Ensure the person at least leaves the initial consultation aware of the health benefits of physical activity (see box 2). • Record the outcomes of the physical activity assessment. Use Read Codes[2] if appropriate. • Encourage people who are assessed as meeting the UK physical activity guidelines (see box 1) to maintain this level of activity

What was measured: Eligible consultations for which GPPAQ was completed
Data collection end: August 2011
8.9%
Number that met the criteria: 192 / 2154
Area covered: Regional
Source: Heron N et al (2014) Physical activity assessment in practice: a mixed methods study of GPPAQ use in primary care. BMC Family Practice Vol 15:11

What was measured: Proportion of adults doing at least 150 minutes of moderate equivalent physical activity per week.
Data collection end: January 2015
57%
Area covered: England
Source: Sport England - Active people survey

What was measured: Public Health Outcomes Framework indicator 2.13: Proportion of over 16s doing at least 150 “equivalent” minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more in the previous 28 days.
Data collection end: December 2012
56%
Data collection end: December 2013
56%
Area covered: England
Source: Sport England - Active people survey


Recommendation: 2

• Advise adults who have been assessed as being inactive to do more physical activity, with the aim of achieving the UK physical activity guidelines. Emphasise the benefits of physical activity. (See box 1.) • When delivering brief advice, tailor it to the person's: ◦ motivations and goals (see NICE guidance on Behaviour change: the principles for effective interventions [public health guidance 6]) ◦ current level of activity and ability ◦ circumstances, preferences and barriers to being physically active ◦ health status (for example whether they have a medical condition or a disability). • Provide information about local opportunities to be physically active for people with a range of abilities, preferences and needs. • Consider giving a written outline of the advice and goals that have been discussed. • Record the outcomes of the discussion. • Follow up when there is another appointment or opportunity. The follow-up could consist of a conversation about what physical activity someone has been doing, progress towards their goals or towards achieving the UK physical activity guidelines (see box 1).

What was measured: Proportion of adults (16 and over) doing at least 150 minutes of moderate equivalent physical activity per week.
Data collection end: November 2016
65.4%
Area covered: England
Source: Sport England - Active people survey



 Return to PH44 Overview