About this guidance

Why is this guidance being produced?

NICE public health guidance makes recommendations on the promotion of good health and the prevention of ill health.

In 2005, the Department of Health (DH) asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to produce guidance on Four commonly used methods to increase physical activity.

Following a review of the guidance in 2009, NICE decided to update the 'brief interventions in primary care' recommendations. For further details on the review decision, visit the NICE website.

The guidance should be implemented alongside other guidance and regulations (for more details see Implementation and Related NICE guidance).

How was this guidance developed?

The recommendations are based on the best available evidence. They were developed by the Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee (PHIAC) using the NICE public health intervention guidance process.

Members of PHIAC are listed in Public Health Interventions Committee and the NICE project team.

For information on how NICE public health guidance is developed, see the NICE public health guidance process and methods guides.

What evidence is the guidance based on?

The evidence that PHIAC considered included:

Evidence review

The review of effectiveness and barriers and facilitators was carried out by The University of Sheffield/School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR). The principal authors were: Campbell F, Blank L, Messina J, Day M, Buckley Wood H, Payne N, Goyder E and Armitage C.

Cost effectiveness

The review of economic evaluations and the review of economic barriers and facilitators were carried out by Brunel University London/Health Economics Research Group (HERG). The principal authors for both reviews were Anokye N, Jones T and Fox-Rushby J.

The economic modelling was carried out by Brunel University London/Health Economics Research Group (HERG). The principal authors were Anokye N, Jones T and Fox-Rushby J.

The review and economic analysis are available.

In some cases the evidence was insufficient and PHIAC has made recommendations for future research.

Status of this guidance

The draft guidance, including the recommendations, was released for consultation in December 2012. At its meeting in February 2013, PHIAC amended the guidance in light of comments from stakeholders and experts and the fieldwork. The guidance was signed off by the NICE Guidance Executive in April 2013.

The recommendations are also available in a pathway for professionals whose remit includes public health and for interested members of the public.


NICE guidance can help:

NICE has developed tools to help organisations put this guidance into practice.

Updating the recommendations

This guidance will be reviewed according to current processes. Information on the progress of any update will be posted on the NICE website.

Your responsibility

This guidance represents the views of the Institute and was arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. Those working in the NHS, local authorities, the wider public, voluntary and community sectors and the private sector should take it into account when carrying out their professional, managerial or voluntary duties.

Implementation of this guidance is the responsibility of local commissioners and/or providers. Commissioners and providers are reminded that it is their responsibility to implement the guidance, in their local context, in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations. Nothing in this guidance should be interpreted in a way which would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.


© National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2013. All rights reserved. NICE copyright material can be downloaded for private research and study, and may be reproduced for educational and not-for-profit purposes. No reproduction by or for commercial organisations, or for commercial purposes, is allowed without the written permission of NICE.

Contact NICE

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  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)