New (free, online) course highlights the importance of physical activity in healthcare services

  • NEW Exercise and Health course by Peoples-uni, pulls together a set of presentations developed by an international team of experts, led by Ann Gates, CEO of Exercise Works
  • The program contains data from different countries and encourages students to perform interventions to increase physical activity locally and/or nationally.

Peoples-uni, the UK-based charity focused on providing affordable education in Public Health, recently debuted its new short online course, Exercise and Health: http://ooc.peoples-uni.org/course/view.php?id=22. The course is based on a set of world class presentations prepared by an international team of experts in exercise and health, led by Ann Gates, CEO of Exercise Works and a member of the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders Programme. This organization is dedicated to leading the global fight against cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with physical activity and exercise.

The course is an inter-disciplinary educational resource designed to help global healthcare professionals and community health advocates understand four important points:

  • The size of the problem of physical inactivity in populations globally
  • The role of physical inactivity in non-communicable diseases
  • The benefits of exercise in treatments and prevention
  • To encourage students and those who access the course to perform and evaluate interventions to increase physical activity in their patients at local and/or national settings.

The course contains presentations and resources made available to all undergraduate medical and health schools to use. These have been endorsed by the United Kingdom Council of Deans of Health. Data from different recognized sources such as Global Observatory for Physical Activity and the World Health Organization are also included. At the end of the course, students can earn a certificate.

Ann Gates: “We are delighted to partner with the Peoples-uni on this exciting leadership initiative to provide low and middle income health care students with access and support to the Movement for Movement campaign and educational resources. We hope that this work inspires health care professionals to help patients, communities and nations to move more, and move well!”

Professor Richard Heller from People’s-uni affirms: “We are proud and delighted to provide access to this excellent set of resources, on a topic of major public health importance, to a global audience of health professionals.”

Professor Ged Byrne, Health Education England’s Director of Education and Quality for the North confirms: “I support this initiative and look forward to the impact it will have on educating health professionals about the importance of physical activity on health. This is very relevant to Making Every Contact Count http://www.makingeverycontactcount.co.uk “ 

Physical exercise to address cardiovascular and other diseases

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, identifies cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as heart disease or stroke, as the number one cause of death around the world, and 1 in 3 deaths globally are as result of CVD, yet most premature heart disease and stroke is preventable.

Many of these NCDs relate to sedentary and physically inactive lifestyles and physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. Regular moderate intensity physical activity (walking, cycling or leisure activities) is proven to provide very significant benefits for health and wellbeing as they can reduce the risk of CVD, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, and depression (WHO).

That is why physical activity promotion, or the inclusion of exercise and active lifestyles in the designing of active lives is key. Therefore, training of health professionals in the benefits of exercise on their interventions and methods is an essential part in the strategy against CVD and other diseases, and Peoples-uni has joined this initiative to promote and protect individual health through regular physical activity.

How to access the course and about People’s-uni OOC courses

The program is part of People’s-uni short Online Open Courses (OOC), a range of short courses designed for self-study, available for free in an open access site, which also offers the possibility for to earn a certificate. The OOC initiative by Peoples-uni is a simple, quick, an affordable way for health professionals, or anyone interested in, in getting more specialization in certain public health related topics, or going deep into certain areas of general interest. For more information: http://ooc.peoples-uni.org/

About Peoples-uni

Peoples-uni is a UK-based charity dedicated to offer affordable education in Public Health. Its main mission is to contribute to improvements in the health of populations in low- to middle-income countries by building Public Health capacity via e-learning at very low cost. To do that, Peoples-uni initiative offers master-level educative programs and short Open Online Courses (OOC). Individual course module development and delivery teams have involved more than 250 volunteers from more than 40 different countries

For more information visit http://www.peoples-uni.org/

About Ann Gates and the team of contributors for the resources

Ann Gates ()is a health care leader, clinical pharmacist, and exercise educationalist. She started her career as a clinical pharmacist in the NHS but quickly became interested in leadership and service planning. Ann is CEO and founder of Exercise Works but has also worked as NHS Director of Strategic Planning and as Head of Health Strategy, for Trent Strategic Health Authority, UK. She is passionate about global health, action on inequalities, and exercise medicine.

The resources were curated and authored by Ann as part of an international, collaborative health project including over 60 expert authors, health care students and educational evaluators.

References

World Heart Federation, fact sheet – http://www.world-heart-federation.org/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Fact_sheets/2016/Cardiovascular_diseases_in_the_UK.pdf

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