The Community of Madrid launches a pioneering program for the prescription of physical activity from health centers
The Community of Madrid will launch this April a pioneering program for the prescription of physical activity from Primary Care centers to promote the acquisition of healthy lifestyle habits. In a second phase, which will be launched throughout this year, health professionals will be able to refer the patient to practice sport in municipal sports facilities.
It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport, called the Prescription Program for Physical Activity and Physical Exercise -ACTIVE HEALTH-. This action is not intended to medicalize physical exercise, but to improve the quality of life and well-being of the people of Madrid, through the integration of sports practice into daily lifestyles.
The prescription of this physical activity from the public health system is carried out during the consultation in the Primary Care centers and through a new computer application recently activated, which will provide medical professionals with this personalized recommendation based on the characteristics and profile of that person, chronic pathologies, age and degree of motivation. The General Directorate of Public Health, together with the Primary Care Assistance Management, will develop training sessions so that these Medicine and Nursing personnel acquire the management of the new tool.
The health professionals will take into account the physical state of the patient to determine the most appropriate strategies to follow, and will also assess their previous experience in the practice of sport, since the intervention will be different depending on whether or not they have had previous contact with this activity. Depending on their clinical assessment and level of motivation, activation and availability, they will have different intervention tools designed by expert technicians from the General Directorate of Public Health, such as informative material with proposals and recommendations for exercising independently or supervised, as well as such as educational materials and workshops in the health center itself.
Active units of physical exercise
In a second phase, Primary Care may refer the patient to start this practice in municipal sports facilities. To this end, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport is processing a grant to finance the creation of Active Physical Exercise Units (UAEF), where these people will receive individualized treatment based on the prescribed needs.
These aids of 250.000 euros, which come from European funds, will cover between 25 and 30 municipalities with between 10.000 and 100.000 inhabitants. The General Directorate of Sports will also process other subsidies related to sports prescription, through the support program for local entities Madrid Active Region to extend the practice of sports in the sectors of the population with the highest incidence of sedentary lifestyle.
For the implementation of the program, a training course has been held during the months of February and March, aimed at members with a university degree in Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, who will be in charge of its implementation in the authorized centers .
New preventable diseases
According to figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 80% of the child population and close to 25% of adults do not comply with the minimum recommended levels of physical activity. This organization also states that between 2020 and 2030 there will be almost 500 million new cases of non-communicable diseases that could be preventable with greater practice of sport.
Numerous studies show the importance of exercising and reducing a sedentary lifestyle, since both factors have a clear influence on improving health, preventing chronic diseases and, therefore, on the quality and life expectancy of the population. .