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Posted on Oct 20 2022 by Fiona Bailey

Patients are to be encouraged to “move more” during their stay at St Andrew’s Healthcare in a bid to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

The “Move More” campaign has been created by Researcher Justine Anthony with Dr Florence Kinnafick from Loughborough University School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences who has co-produced a physical activity toolkit for staff and patients.

The toolkit builds on the development of a previously implemented physical activity e-learning module and includes education around the benefits of physical activity for psychiatric patients.

It also includes guidance for staff on how to support and promote physical activity and has several ideas for activities that can be engaged in both on and off the wards.

The impact of this toolkit will be evaluated so the research team can explore how impactful the content was on physical activity levels and people’s BMI.

Justine said: “There has been so much research done on how exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and other mental health condition, it makes complete sense to promote the benefits of physical activity among our staff.

“The “Move More” toolkit is a guide for St Andrew’s staff to empower them and give them the confidence to encourage our patients to get moving. A common misconception among our staff is that encouraging patients to exercise can only be done by a qualified person. This is simply not true. Anyone can promote exercise and it doesn’t always have to be high intensity for it to be beneficial.”

Tom Bodkin, who is a Sports and Exercise Therapist at St Andrew’s Healthcare, is in full support of the newly released resources.

He said: “The difference I’ve seen in patients and their temperament, their approach to life and their overall wellbeing if they’ve been active is tangible. The benefits of exercise are huge and should not be ignored.

“We’re very fortunate at St Andrew’s that we have such great facilities on the Northampton site, such as the outdoor gym, swimming pools and the grounds which are wonderful to walk around. I fully support Justine’s work and hope the staff also get on board with it.”