Physiotherapy Staff encourage Fit for Life - Fit for the Future

09/11/2017

Belfast Trust Physiotherapy staff are the first Trust in Northern Ireland to offer Fit for Life training to the workforce.  A study day has been designed to give staff the skills to promote a fitter more active lifestyle to every patient or service user.

Our staff have contact with individual people, families and communities and reach across all ages and all places, meaning there is a huge opportunity for health promoting practice to make a difference to health outcomes.

The day was open to Medical and Nursing staff, Allied Health Professionals, Sports Scientists, Exercise Professionals, and anyone with an interest in promoting Physical Activity across the region.

Physical inactivity is known to be one of the major health challenges the population faces and embedding promotion of physical activity within everyday practice is an important lever for change. Inactivity in both adults and children is becoming a wider health issue with research estimating that physical inactivity contributes to one in six deaths.

Regular activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, stroke, cancer and improves mental health and well- being. 

Speaking at today’s training event, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride said: “Health professionals provide a major role in helping patients to be more active and lead them to a healthier lifestyle.

“It is crucial for patients to be accurately informed about the benefits of physical activity for their own health and wellbeing. More exercise in our daily lives has significant benefits for health including; improving our mental health by helping prevent depression, maintaining positive self-esteem; and, reducing the risk of more serious conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

“The Fit for Life training initiative will now provide staff within the Belfast Trust opportunities to enhance their skills to promote and encourage a fitter, more active lifestyle to every patient or service user and in turn will greatly help patients to make informed decisions about their own personal physical activity.”

Deirdre Winters, Belfast Trust Physiotherapist, stated: “It is time for us to act now to ensure every healthcare contact is used to make a difference. We want to encourage physical activity with every patient at every opportunity.”