Outdoor walking groups: as good as the treadmill?

Kirsten Lawson reports on a systematic review and meta-analysis of outdoor walking groups and their impact on a range of health parameters, including blood pressure, heart rate, body fat, body mass index, cholesterol and depression.

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One in ten women report having had sex against their will

woman lying down

This is the stark headline of the latest British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (NATSAL). It’s the first time this regular ten-year survey, now in its third cycle, has looked at non-volitional sex. They also report a huge range of data about the prevalence of sexual activities and attitudes.  So the Lifestyle Elf [read the full story…]

Quitting smoking is the easy part, staying quit is hard

During 2010/11 there were 1.53 million hospital admissions for illnesses directly attributable to smoking in the UK. These admissions, along with other smoking-related expenses, cost the NHS approximately £5 billion pounds per year. Fortunately, the NHS is spending £88.2 million per year on cessation treatments, many of which have been repeatedly demonstrated to be highly [read the full story…]

Exercise referral schemes may be cost-effective, but we don’t have enough good evidence yet

Exercising

In Exercise Referral Schemes (ERS), primary care patients who are sedentary or are likely to benefit from physical activity are referred by a primary care professional to a third party provider for a tailored exercise programme. Are the benefits of these exercise schemes worth the costs? Methods This was an economic evaluation using a cost-utility [read the full story…]

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New guidance on brief advice for adults undertaking exercise in primary care

Asleep at the desk

“Nudging” people to change their behaviour is one of the concepts du jour.  In the cash- and time-strapped environment of health care delivery, the idea that small scale interventions can have a big collective impact particularly appeals. NICE has recently released guidance for primary care professionals on how to deliver brief advice on undertaking exercise.  [read the full story…]

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Scottish evidence briefing highlights knowledge and skills for promoting good food choices and healthy weight

Well the children are back at school and the little elves in my household did a fair bit of moaning on the first couple of days. They had to run round the playing field several times, as fast as they could, trying to beat the others. What happened to loitering at the back, chatting to [read the full story…]

Report calls for presciption of exercise as an effective and cheap ‘medicine’

We know that exercise is key in both preventing and managing disease, but the Sport and Exercise Medicine Committee Working Party of the Royal College of Physicians has found that doctors and other health professionals may lack knowledge about the benefits of exercise and also practical skills in the prescription of exercise to patients for [read the full story…]

Improving health literacy: a step on the road to better choices about health

People’s ability to read, understand and use information on health and healthcare (health literacy) is a really important factor in the decisions they make in relation to their health, from lifestyle choices to the management of illness. Whilst we don’t know what levels of health literacy are in England, we do know that England has [read the full story…]