Guidance and Resources for Therapy Services

Guidance and Resources for Therapy Services


Health benefits of physical activity, sport and exercise

It has been referred to as ‘The Pill for Every Ill’. The benefits of physical activity, sport and exercise are compelling. Whatever your age or ability there is strong research that demonstrates being physically active can help people lead a healthier and even happier life.

"If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented" (Dr Nick Cavill).

‘It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

·up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
·up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
·up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
·up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
·a 30% lower risk of early death
·up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
·up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
·a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
·up to a 30% lower risk of depression
·up to a 30% lower risk of dementia


Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.’ (NHS choices, 2013)

As a therapist, weather you are a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language therapist, Podiatrist, Orthotist or Art Therapist, you play an important and influential role in those who you treat. With a focus on ability, quality of life and promoting independence you have the chance to make a huge difference to your patient’s by encouraging them to become physically active. Being physically active if often used during therapy interventions, so have you thought about using sport as a therapy? You may be that one contact they have that provides them with the invaluable information that helps them make the change from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one. A huge 83% of disabled people have acquired their impairment. Many of these people then have the misconception that they can no longer be physically active or play sport. You may then be the one contact who tells them they can still be active and play sport.


Top Tips

  • Don’t make assumptions about what a disabled person can do when it comes to sport
  • Speak to your local DSW Development Officer, or advise your patient to. There is an opportunity out there for everyone; they can help find the right one. 
  • Make every contact count. Be the person that tells your patient’s about the benefits of physical activity and sport, and the many opportunities. They may not be aware that there are cable to participate, weather it be at a participation, competitive or elite level.

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