Review decision date: March 2016

Review decision: No update required. Published guidance still current. 

Next review: To be scheduled

This guideline aims to support routine provision of brief advice on physical activity in primary care practice.  

It updates and replaces recommendations 1–4 in Four commonly used methods to increase physical activity (2006) NICE guideline PH2.

The recommendations cover:

  • identifying adults who are inactive
  • delivering and following up on brief advice
  • incorporating brief advice in commissioning
  • systems to support brief advice
  • information and training to support brief advice.

The guideline is for commissioners of health services and anyone working in primary care whose remit includes offering lifestyle advice. Examples include: exercise professionals, GPs, health trainers, health visitors, mental health professionals, midwives, pharmacists, practice nurses, physiotherapists.

It may also be of interest to others with a role in encouraging physical activity and members of the public.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.

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