GPS should stand to show example, say activity experts
GPS should conduct appointments standing up in order to set a good example to patients, a conference of family doctors has heard.
Medics are being urged to “practise what they preach” and use their behaviour to provoke discussion about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
GPS should also consider cycling to home visits and encourage colleagues to cycle or walk to work so surgery car parks are less crowded, according to experts at the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Dr Andrew Boyd, an activity champion at the college, said GPS remained “hugely trusted” by patients, yet only around 40 per cent were meeting Government exercise guidelines.
“Patients really do notice what we do,” he said. “We’re leaders in the community and if I cycle to their house rather than drive they notice it. It’s practising what we preach.”
The Chief Medical Officer recommends people take at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, as well as muscle strengthening exercises on two or more days a week.
However, research indicates fewer than 50 per cent of patients meet this recommended minimum.
Dr Boyd said some doctors are worried about appearing hypocritical by lecturing their patients to take more exercise when they are not active themselves.