Currently one in four of the population in England does less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and are classified as inactive.
Physical inactivity is in the top 10 greatest causes of ill health nationally, with negative impacts on health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes for individuals and communities.
Evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse, yet nearly three quarters of GPs do not speak about the benefits of physical activity to patients due to either lack of knowledge, skills or confidence.
The tool focuses on helping to address the most common long term health conditions affecting the population, such as cancer, depression, musculoskeletal pain and type 2 diabetes.
Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social care said: “There is a mountain of evidence to suggest that patients with all kinds of conditions – from depression to diabetes – would benefit from more exercise, yet understandably those suffering with chronic illness are more likely to be inactive.
“That’s why it’s so important healthcare professionals have the information they need at their fingertips to advise patients with complex health needs on how to get more active – and this doesn’t have to mean joining a gym.
“It can be doing more of the things we love, whether that’s playing football, swimming or going for long walks. I am delighted to launch this brilliant web tool for healthcare professionals.
“I hope it will help pave the way for a culture shift in medicine where referrals for exercise are just as common as prescriptions for medication.”