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The role of physical activity and sport in mental health

The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) UK has published an evidence-based position statement for health professionals, sports participants, schools, parents and carers on the role of physical activity and sport in mental health.

The statement, containing a guide to physical activity as an intervention, has been produced in partnership with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and with the support of Mind. The three organisations recognise the role physical activity has in preventing mental health problems and in improving the quality of life for those experiencing them. The guide outlines strong evidence for physical activity as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions.

The statement also provides useful information on mental health problems in professional sport and promotes the recommendations made by the Duty of Care Review, including mental health training for coaches and support staff.

Dr Paul D Jackson, President of the FSEM UK, said: “The research to support regular physical activity in the maintenance of good mental health and the role of exercise in the management of many mental health conditions is now well established.

“We have collaborated with the Royal College of Psychiatry and Mind to look at the best evidence available and have produced this statement as a guide for all health professionals and the wider community to support them in promoting physical activity in both the prevention and management of mental health conditions.”