Embedding physical activity into the healthcare curriculum – A case study

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Physical inactivity is a key risk factor for a wide range of non-communicable diseases, yet a large proportion of the population fail to meet recommended physical activity levels. Healthcare has been identified as a key setting in which to intervene to encourage physical activity behaviour change. However, those working in the health care sector must be provided with training opportunities to increase knowledge, competence and motivation. We reviewed the structure and content of the current health-related courses at the University of East Anglia to identify opportunities to deliver more content on physical activity. We identified five areas for action: the development of new learning outcomes; the creation and delivery of taught sessions on physical activity; providing resources to faculty members to support the integration of the topic across all relevant modules and courses; the development of electronic resources for students; and modifications to the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) scenarios. Taking a multi-faceted and integrated approach was important to avoid physical activity being viewed as a ‘bolt-on’ topic. It also helped to maximise exposure to the topic while minimising disruption to the course structure and timetable. The actions taken have proved feasible and have been well received by students and staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-179
Number of pages4
JournalEducation for Primary Care
Issue number3
Early online date26 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2020


  • Physical activity
  • curriculum
  • health
  • medicine
  • teaching

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