Long term medical conditions such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes, stroke, and lung, kidney and heart disease represent a huge cost to the nation.

Evidence shows that physical activity is effective in the prevention and treatment of disease and reduction of premature death.

The NCSEM-EM will develop best practice guidelines for the prescription of sport, exercise and physical activity as medicine and promote the benefits to groups who are at greater risk of developing chronic diseases.

Our research in this area

Exercise in kidney disease

Kidney disease is a progressive condition which gradually gets worse over time as the kidneys fail, with cardiovascular disease the major cause of morbidity. When the kidneys no longer work well enough to support life, patients need to have dialysis three times a week, or a kidney transplant.

The provision of exercise advice and rehabilitation programmes for kidney patients currently lags behind that of other conditions, such as heart and lung disease.

We carry out research with patients at all stages of kidney disease to study how to help them build exercise into their lifestyles to maintain their health and wellbeing as long as possible. This has included an experimental programme of exercise for dialysis patients, using specially adapted exercise bikes to enable them to exercise in hospital during their four-hour dialysis session.

We are now beginning studies with our transplant population to assess the effects of exercise on their kidney function, risk of cardiovascular disease and the impact of exercise and immunosuppressive drugs on their immune cell function.

ClassPAL: Physically active learning in the classroom

Prolonged sitting may be detrimental to health in later life. Schools have a great opportunity to help change the culture of sitting.

Integrating physical activity into the classroom may help reduce and break-up periods of sitting, whilst potentially impacting positively on pupil’s engagement and enjoyment in class and, in some cases, academic achievement.

The CLASS PAL (Physically Active Learning) project has developed a professional development workshop and website of supporting resources to enable primary school teachers to integrate physical activity into their routine teaching practice. Find out more: www.classpal.org.uk