Disabled people are currently the least active group in society, and twice as likely as non-disabled people to be physically inactive. Healthcare professionals are an important point of contact, and system of referral, for disabled people looking to be active. Evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a healthcare professional. Ahead of World Health Day, Activity Alliance releases a short feature film for healthcare professionals on supporting disabled people to be active.

Highlighting how health and sport organisations can work together effectively to break down barriers, the national charity hopes it leads to more local and national collaboration. In partnership with Public Health England and supported by Sport England, the film introduces the urgent case for change so more disabled people can reap physical and mental health benefits.

As well as highlighting excellent examples, the film contributors give advice on ways others can embed sport and activity into their work. It compliments the Moving Healthcare Professionals programme, led by Sport England and Public Health England. In the film, leaders from Public Health England and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists outline how greater health outcomes can come through an active lifestyle. With support from healthcare professionals, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions can take part in more opportunities.

Lyndsey Barrett, Co-founder and Senior Occupational Therapist, Sport for Confidence, said: “Sport for Confidence directly places healthcare professionals into leisure centres – I wanted to move away from a traditional approach and perhaps traditional clinical environments. For our sessions it’s all about learning new skills, meeting new people and getting involved in something that perhaps previously you wouldn’t have got involved in and the focus is on the occupational outcomes, rather than the sport outcomes. Currently Sport for Confidence runs in seven different sites across Essex with 250 participants per week across 30 activities, our aim is to have a health professional in every leisure facility in the country.”

To coincide with the film release and in recognition of World Health Day on Sunday 7 April 2019, Activity Alliance will be hosting an hour Twitter chat from 1-2pm on Friday 5 April to talk about health, inclusion and sport. Join in the conversation with @AllForActivity and hashtag #InclusiveActivity.

If you are a healthcare professional looking for more information and guidance then please visit www.activityalliance.org.uk/health or call 01509 227750.

You can view the video here

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