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Physical Activity

Physical activity for self management of long term conditions

Sir Chris Hoy supports physical activity for self management of long term conditions, watch our short film below.

What is physical activity?

“Physical activity is a general term used to describe any movement of the body that uses energy. This deliberately broad definition means that virtually all types of activity can be beneficial including: exercise, sport, play, dance and ´active living´ such as walking, cycling for transport, housework, gardening and work.”[i]

How can physical activity help you self manage?

Physical activity can help self management of long term conditions and prevent other long term conditions developing. For example there is good evidence to suggest that regular physical activity can: [ii]

  • improve mental health and wellbeing
  • reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
  • reduce risk of type II diabetes
  • reduce risk of certain types of cancer
  • reduce blood pressure
  • contribute to healthy weight maintenance

How often should we be active?

There is UK consensus on the amount and type of physical activity recommended to improve and maintain health[iii] . The recommendations differ across age groups because people have different needs at different life stages. Read more on the UK physical activity guidelines here.

What are the benefits of physical activity?

The benefits of regular physically activity is well evidenced increasing your physical activity levels can reduce incidence of chronic conditions of particular concern in Scotland, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. There is also evidence to suggest physical activity has benefits for mental wellbeing which is another key priority for Scotland. [iv] The benefits of physical activity differ from each target group set out in the UK physical activity guidelines read more here.

Examples of ALLIANCE member’s physical activity resources/projects:

Self management funded projects resources:

Case studies

Coming soon!!

Show your support on Twitter

Pass the #SelfManagement baton on Twitter, details of how to get involved here


[i] [i][i]  What is Physical Activity work – NHS Health Scotland. 2013. What is Physical Activity work – NHS Health Scotland. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.healthscotland.com/Topics/HealthTopics/PhysicalActivity.aspx [Accessed 12 November 2013].

[iii] Start Active, Stay Active. Department of Health 2011. A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/start-active-stay-active-a-report-on-physical-activity-from-the-four-home-countries-chief-medical-officers [Accessed 12 November 2013].

[iv] Improving the Health and Wellbeing of People with Long Term Conditions in Scotland: A National Action Plan. Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2009. www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2009/12/03112054/11


ALLIANCE Scotland - Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland