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Active for Health - How it works

Active for Health - How it works

The Rotherham "Active for Health" Research Project aims to increase the physical activity of patients’ with long term conditions. It is evidence based, driven by local need and incorporates best practice.

Health professionals

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Active for health - be active to stay healthy

Why be physically active?

Evidence demonstrates the role and benefits that physical activity and sport can play in preventing ill health, preparing people for surgery and supporting recovery of patients with long term conditions.

Inactive patients can have:

  • 38% more days in hospital
  • 5.5% more GP visits
  • 12% more nurse visits
How it works

What are the general benefits of being physically active?

  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved mental health - depression, stress and anxiety
  • Improved social outcomes – meeting more people, reduced feelings of isolation
  • Increased self-confidence, mood & self esteem
  • Improves muscle and bone strength, flexibility, balance & posture

There are also associated benefits for patients with long term conditions which include:

  • To help patients achieve optimal physical health prior to surgery/treatment
  • To aid rehabilitation post treatment and manage condition
  • Preventing the development of other illnesses and condition management

How it works

For more information on the sessions for each condition please select below;


Active for Health offer

Specialist physical activity referral pathways are available for people with one of the following conditions:

  • Cardiac and heart failure
  • Stroke
  • COPD
  • Cancer
  • Lower back pain
  • Falls

Patients will benefit from a specifically designed programme of exercise to maintain activity and improve health. The programme will also encourage active lifestyles in the long term identifying how physical activity can contribute to the recovery from a health condition.

Msk rehab group


How it works - our 3 step programme

All programmes follow the same 3-step process from rehabilitation, moving on and keeping active. Initial referrals to Step 2 are from rehabilitation services or a GP/Health professional.

Step 1

Step 1 - Rehabilitation

Lead exercise professionals will work directly with patients to motivate referrals to Step 2.

Step 2

Step 2 - Moving on

12 week FREE programme of exercise, tailored to the patient's condition. Group sessions delivered by specialist exercise professionals with individualised programmes to improve patients recovery.

Step 3

Step 3 - Keeping active

Patients are offered the opportunity to continue being active. These sessions will be suitable to their condition/abilities and aimed at continuing recovery.

The programme offers people with a long term condition the opportunity to participate in physical activity and have access to a trained exercise specialist.


Aims of Active for Health:

  • To make it easier for individuals who have a long term condition to become more physically active
  • To offer people affected by a long term condition access to level 4 qualified Exercise Specialists
  • To offer a programme of physical activity, that takes in to account the needs of the referred individual
  • To raise awareness of the physical, psychological and social benefits of physical activity for people with a long term condition
  • To promote long term participation in regular physical activity by developing the individuals confidence in being active
  • To improve participant's health, wellbeing and quality of life

Quality Assurance

All programmes are:

  • Led by an experienced level 4 exercise specialists who is registered on the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS)
  • Aligned to NICE Guidance and quality assured through the "Active for Health" research programme
  • Are patient centred and evidence based to show physiological outcomes relevant to each conditions

Find out more

We follow the Register of exercise professionals (REPS) regulations and all instructors are qualified to meet the Health & Fitness industry’s agreed national occupational standards.

Find out more

All our programmes follow the relevant NICE Physical activity Guidance & BHF Physical Activity and health Guidelines. For further information please follow the links below;

See NICE website

See BHF guidelines

All patients will undertake a health screening prior to taking part in any of the Active for Health sessions.


Evidence Base

All programmes will be externally evaluated to demonstrate the impact of attending, patients will receive both physiological and quality of life outcomes as a result of attending the programme. These will be administered and collated through our research partner, with patient consent.

How it works

Health professionals

See how you can get involved

If you have a long-term health condition

Get referred onto a session


Rotherham CCG
Rotherham MBC
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Sheffield Hallam University