Aim Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases and accounts for over 3 million preventable deaths each year.1 Healthcare professionals have an important role to play in increasing physical activity (PA) levels,2 and should be educated on the matter.3
Methods BeTheChange was a pilot scheme aimed at increase the advocacy of PA as a healthcare tool by targeting both the education and practice of PA among medical students. An educational seminar was attended by 108 delegates (12 medical students).
Results Only one felt that sufficient training had been provided on the matter and 100% felt more likely to advocate PA as a healthcare tool following the seminar. Twenty-two medical students attended a local gym using a free BeTheChange pass. Five students correctly identified the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) guidelines,4 but only one felt that sufficient training had been provided. A further four students thought that sufficient teaching was provided, yet were unable to correctly identify the CMO guidelines.
Conclusions Despite a low sample size, knowledge of the CMO guidelines was low, and the majority of medical students did not feel as if they had received sufficient teaching on the matter. BeTheChange highlights the need for PA-related teaching in the undergraduate curriculum and warrants further investigation as a novel method of increasing the advocacy of PA among medical students.
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