Medical specialists must engage in exercise delivery

With the Olympics and Paralympics throwing the spotlight firmly on sporting prowess during July and August, the Royal College of Physicians has published a report highlighting the need for more medical engagement in the delivery of exercise for both injury and illness.

The report, from the college’s Sport and Exercise Medicine Committee Working Party, has emphasised that exercise is critical in both the prevention of disease and managing established disease but that medical provision in this area is “patchy”.

There is a lack of leadership co-ordination between exercise and fitness providers, GPs and specialist rehabilitation services. “Consequently, provision is piecemeal and subject to a series of well-meaning but often transient initiatives,” said the committee.

Professor Mark Batt, president of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, said: “There needs to be a concerted effort directed at improving medical knowledge and engagement, and royal colleges should show leadership in this area. The legacy from the 2012 Olympics makes it the ideal opportunity to start now.”

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