Exercise resources to revolutionise health care education

21 Sep 2015 13:36:13.627


A unique set of resources to train doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to promote and prescribe exercise for clinical treatment and disease prevention is being launched by healthcare experts at The University of Nottingham. 

The ‘Exercise Works’ Resource Set is a collection of evidence-based slide sets for teaching the benefits of physical exercise in 21 different areas of healthcare, including cancer, stroke, heart disease, mental health and post-surgical recovery.  

The resources are available free to undergraduate schools of medicine and health sciences worldwide. They have been developed by an international team of exercise healthcare experts in response to the global obesity epidemic and resulting guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

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Head of the University’s School of Health Sciences, Professor Patrick Callaghan, who coordinated the evaluation of the resources, said: “We cannot overstate the beneficial impact of carefully prescribed exercise in all areas of healthcare which is proven in a wide range of research. Our University is at the forefront of cutting edge healthcare education and these resources will transform the quality of our education in promoting exercise to enable individuals and communities transform their health and wellbeing.” 

The development of the resources was led by Nottingham alumna Ann Gates, a member of the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders Programme 2014. Ann said: “A qualified doctor, nurse, midwife or allied health professional may see nearly half a million patients, during their career so this has enormous potential for advocacy and the promotion of physical activity. These new resources will enable medical and allied health professionals to be trained to deliver evidence-based, safe and effective exercise advice in the delivery of health care.” 

A series of questions on the role of exercise in the treatment of ill health is undergoing a quality assurance process by the Medical Schools Council Assessment Alliance for inclusion into the national multiple choice question (MCQ) question bank, for finals examination, for the UK undergraduate medical degree. This means that all UK medical schools will be able to access finals exam questions on exercise medicine and health. 

Dr Eleanor Tillett from The British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine (BASEM) said: “A great deal of work by Ann Gates and her colleagues has gone into creating these comprehensive and evidence based teaching materials, setting educational standards and content for the future and providing medical schools with a stand-alone teaching package. This serves to highlight the importance of future health care professionals, having a working knowledge of, and ability to promote physical activity for the health of all nations.” 

The success of the project will ultimately depend on the commitment of undergraduate schools of medicine, nursing, midwifery and health sciences and examining boards to protect and promote the health of patients, by educating all tomorrow’s health care professionals in the promotion of physical activity.

Centres of medical education should contact ann@exercise-works.org for details of how to access the relevant resource sets.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.

The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC) is holding events throughout 2015 to celebrate 15 years as a pioneer of transnational education. Based in Semenyih, UNMC was established as the UK's first overseas campus in Malaysia and one of the first world-wide.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Patrick Callaghan in the School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 823 0812, Patrick.callaghan@nottingham.ac.uk or

Ann Gates ann@exercise-works.org 


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