Report urges doctors to consider exercise by prescription call

Doctors could help get more older people involved in outdoor activity by prescribing exercise, according to a report.

Saturday, 27th August 2016, 4:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th August 2016, 6:04 pm
People waiting to see a doctor. Stock image PA

Research by the James Hutton Institute for the Scottish Government highlighted the benefits of “green prescribing” – or advising patients to be physically active outdoors.

The institute was looking at the barriers older people face getting out and about, including factors such as health, mobility, motivation and safety.

Scottish data shows older adults are less likely than young and middle-aged adults to take part in outdoor recreation on a regular basis.

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Researcher Margaret Currie said: “We have been able to identify a number of potential interventions, such as green prescribing, which should be integrated with existing initiatives like health walks.

“It may be useful to tailor interventions to suit people of different abilities and preferences, and to target people at key moments of life-change such as retirement, or friends or spouses passing away.”