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INTERVIEW


Morgan: “Ours is one of the few


GP practices in the country with a cardiovascular gym inside it”


“So yes, it’s simple data, but if a


health club were able to offer me similar data on their own programmes – for example, showing me a measurable improvement in a range of health markers – I’d be happy with that. And I think other GPs probably would be too. So I’d really encourage gyms to liaise with their local GPs and start this sort of programme.”


Morgan’s surgery runs 12-week in-house exercise programmes


my patients cost the hospital £8,000 per 1,000 population, compared to £12,000– 13,000 per 1,000 population for another local GP surgery of similar size and standing. That’s a huge argument to prove the cost-effectiveness of exercise. “Weight loss was also positive: 61


per cent of those doing our 12-week programme lost weight from exercising. I think that’s very interesting, because the lack of media advocacy with regard to exercise has been a problem over the years. Diet has been the only thing that’s been pushed, but exercise is also key.


44 “The other key fi nding was that


85 per cent of people changed the amount of exercise they did away from the class – they were continuing to exercise independently. “The one thing the study didn’t do


was look at a control group of people who hadn’t attended the exercise class, which would have made it a bit more robust. The quality of data therefore wouldn’t stand up in front of a medical conference – they could argue that the weather was nice that year and everyone went walking.


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


GP resistance But therein lies a big part of the problem, as other GPs don’t seem as keen as Morgan to embrace physical activity. Why does he think that is? “There’s always the issue of training,


and the fact that medical schools focus on disease and treatment of disease rather than health and prevention of disease. Junior doctors need to be trained in the benefi ts of exercise and how to talk about it to their patients. “Another big diffi culty is where


funding for ‘exercise as a benefi t to health’ now sits. It would generally sit in the public health department, which is separate from the funding for general practice-commissioned activity. And that makes for a grey area, because although I fundamentally believe telling the whole population to exercise is a good thing, nothing beats sitting in front


November/December 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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