Prescriptions for physical activity!

Prescriptions for physical activity prevent and treat!

Physical activity is the aspect of lifestyle that the population thinks is most important to improve according to surveys. One treatment method that can be used for this in Sweden is FaR, Physical Activity on Prescription.

Happier, better sleep and stress management

Do you feel that you would like to be more physically active in your everyday life? Then you are not alone! Two surveys in Sweden show that many people want to increase their level of physical activity. Physical activity is the aspect of lifestyle that the population actually thinks is most important to improve. In a survey from Östergötland, just over 60 percent say they want to be more active. (1)

Physical activity affects many different biological systems in the body simultaneously. Changes in the body allow you to feel happier, sleep better, deal with stress more easily and maintain your weight. Increased physical activity improves the quality of life and those who reach the recommended level of physical activity are more likely to have a better quality of life. (1.2)

Physical activity is also the factor we can most easily influence to control how much energy we used. Even for people who exercise regularly, other physical activity, during both leisure and working hours, accounts for the largest part of energy consumption during a normal day. (1)

Treatment methods to increase physical activity

Anyone in Sweden who needs to increase their physical activity to prevent or treat diseases has the opportunity to get Physical Activity on Prescription (FaR). FaR means that physical activity is prescribed by the health service, while the activity itself is performed in the community.

FaR has become widespread in recent years and is used in all regions of Sweden. The most central thing in FaR is that all work is based on the individual, ie that the work is based on a patient-centered approach. What governs the treatment is the patient's health condition, diagnoses and possible risk factors and previous experiences, as well as what the patient thinks is fun and achievable. (1)

How does it work?

You can get FaR from all licensed healthcare professionals: physiotherapists, doctors, nurses, psychologists, dietitians, occupational therapists, dentists or midwives. It can be include everything from walking, Nordic walking, swimming and aqua aerobics to strength training, gym workouts or gardening.

The prescription states the type of activity that is recommended. It is based on a weighting of the scientific support for treatment effect, motivation, conditions and ability as well as your own goals.

The treatment also includes follow-ups to see how it has gone. FaR may not be equally suitable for everyone. For people who require more structured training, contact with, for example, a physiotherapist is recommended instead. (3)

To gain access to FaR to prevent or treat an illness, contact a health center or rehab clinic.

Take Elsa to help!

It can take time to change your lifestyle and become more physically active. It's easy to fall back into old habits. If that happens, try again, without giving yourself a hard time.

  • Feel free to use a diary where you write down your activities, in Elsa you can log your daily physical activity and specify activity, effort level and time. In Notepad, you can also write down things that you especially want to remember.

  • A step-counter can be a way to keep track of how much you move each day. Elsa automatically registers your steps! It can serve as motivation to continue and perhaps also a support to help you be physically active with others.

Read more about FaR and physical activity

References:

  1. Folkhälsomyndigheten, Individanpassad skriftlig ordination av fysisk aktivitet

  2. 1177 Vårdguiden, Fysisk aktivitet på recept

  3. Vårdgivarguiden, Fysisk aktivitet på recept

Elsa is a CE marked medical device that is registered with the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

Elsa is currently being co-developed by designers, developers, researchers, healthcare providers and patients across Sweden. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact: hello@elsa.science 

Elsa is partly financed by SWELife, Vinnova.

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