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Factsheet for nurses about physical activity in relation to COVID-19

Jan Sinclair 28 Jul 2020

This new factsheet within the Motivate2Move suite of resources is very relevant at this time for all health care professionals, as it captures how being more physically active during the current pandemic could potentially minimise the severity of COVID-19 if infected. This factsheet was developed with the help of scientists from the University of Birmingham, UK.

There is evidence that people are moving less and sitting more during the pandemic. Given we could face a second wave of infection in the Autumn, there is no better time than the present to emphasise these benefits and it is essential that nurses engage in those all-important Making Every Contact Count conversations with their patients in order to effect positive changes.

The newest factsheet in the Motivate2Move series forms part of the physical activity toolkit, which can be found on the RCN Physical Activity pages. It is essential reading for nurses and midwives, as it offers practical advice and guidance on how different individuals (e.g. general population, shielders and others at a higher risk) can increase their activity levels to potentially minimise the severity of symptoms of COVID-19 if infected.

With so many fast paced changes in health care currently happening, now is the time for staff to engage in those all-important conversations with their patients about the continued benefits of physical activity and the key messages are easy to translate into practice.

In addition to the new factsheet, there are also some key messages via the links below, especially as there is much known about the impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable populations with chronic long term conditions. Also have a look at the following links for tips on how physical activity can improve the life of patients with health conditions and how activity as simple as walking can improve health.

Jan Sinclair

Jan Sinclair

RCN Public Health Forum member

Senior Healthcare Public Health Nurse/ PHE Lead Nurse Physical Activity Clinical Champion

NHS Trust lead for patient healthy lifestyle including physical activity which focuses on patient assessment, brief advice and signposting to appropriate services.

PHE role delivers Physical Activity presentation to healthcare professionals and supports nurse champions in England as well as identifying sustainable methods of programme continuation.

Page last updated - 18/05/2022