The 2020 #MovementForMovement physical activity, exercise, and noncommunicable diseases, pregnancy and perioperative care resource update

5 December 2019

Blog by Ann Gates BPharm (Hons) MRPharmS, Honorary Associate Professor The University of Nottingham, Honorary Visiting Professor Plymouth Marjon University.

November 2019 marks five years of curating, authoring, editing, peer/student reviewing and dissemination for the undergraduate #MovementForMovement resources on physical activity for health. The resources were specifically developed for training, up-skilling and strengthening the knowledge, capacity and leadership of future health care professionals with the purpose of making every contact count to reduce physical inactivity.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2018, recognised the importance of physical activity for health by producing the Global Action Plan for Physical Activity (GAPPA). This plan forms the general basis for the resource content together with the 2019 Guidance from the Chief Medical Officers in the UK on the amount and type of physical activity people should be doing to improve their health. In addition, The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance relating to the management of, and role of physical activity support, is linked to each unit of the teaching materials, together with UK-based and international examples of best research/clinical practice and innovation. Many educational bodies have provided extensive support and sharing of this initiative – especially the UK Council of Deans of Health.

Physical activity and exercise are key in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and form a valuable approach to delivering on 13 of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs). But for future health care professionals (HCPs) this basic knowledge transfer, enhanced competencies, capabilities and confidence are crucial if we are to build a health care service that not only delivers treatment but positively influences the drivers of ill-health, such as the high levels of inactivity in adolescents. So where are we on the undergraduate teaching of physical activity and health resources?

The 2020 updated resources are designed to be used in the teaching of undergraduate student: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, midwives and all NHS defined allied health professionals. They provide valuable, current, nationally and internationally recognised knowledge content. In addition, the clinical practice narratives help to identify opportunities within healthcare services or for individual reflective practice, to enable effective brief interventions. The resources importantly support all HCP students to lead on physical activity implementation at scale.

The resources have been authored by a multitude of leading experts, academics and practitioners, peer reviewers, and student reviewers. In addition, for 2019, we are delighted to have secured the input of the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust Patient Partnership Group who have added invaluable contributions to the resources by adding the learning outcome “to understand the role of the family/carer support and lived experience within the daily life of a patient.

Ann Marie Riley (Deputy Chief Nurse Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust) said: “It is vital that healthcare professionals understand the importance of physical activity and the positive impact it has on maintaining physical and mental health and well-being. These resources will support all staff interacting with healthcare services to play an important role in preventing potentially life changing functional decline caused by inactivity”

Dr Amit Arora (Consultant Physician and Geriatrician, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust ) explained further: “As an expert author for the #MovementForMovement deconditioning slide set resource, and  creator of National Deconditioning Awareness and Prevention Campaign: Get Up Get Dressed Get Moving I welcome the opportunity to provide all undergraduate health care professional students with the knowledge and behaviour change skills to effect improved patient care. The emphasis across the resources on the lived experience of patients around immobility, deconditioning and physical inactivity is to be welcomed, as this can only support better patient care, health experiences and patient outcomes.”

Physical activity advice and support is an essential component to the practice of any future health care professional. This critical training can influence health improvement, cradle to grave, maintain and improve patient and population level physical activity levels, and enable health and wellbeing in individuals, communities and nations. 160,000 UK undergraduate healthcare students, trained to support increased physical activity, are a future capacity that could impact greatly on the determinants of NCDs and ill-health.

Now is the time to be teaching, assessing and examining to make every contact count for physical activity. It fits with the future of health care professional practice. It aligns with the national and international aspirations for sustainable health for all. And it supports each university to develop world class health leaders and influencers. Leading on health: from the bedside to the NHS boardrooms.

Thanks to the entire community of practice (and Seven Stones Design) who have crafted, quality-assured the content and supported the project aspirations and delivered a comprehensive evidence-based resource to be used by Universities.

For more information to access the secure, (confidential to schools of medicine and health only) #MovementForMovement resources for the undergraduate teaching of health care professional students please contact Ann Gates (on behalf of the community of practice authorship) at

To read more on how to use the resources at your university, please note our handy “how to use” terms and conditions document: 2020 How to use the Movement for Movement Resources Guide and terms and conditions

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