In spite of NICE guidelines encouraging doctors to promote physical activity in clinical settings, a new study conducted by researchers at University College London has found that the amount of physical activity taught to medical students is "sparse or nonexistent".
The researchers sent in questionnaires to 31 medical schools in Britain and found that five of the 29 medical schools did not have any physical activity training in their curriculum while just 15 of 27 medical schools said that they taught current CMO guidance for physical activity.
The amount of time spent in teaching physical activity science was just four hours.
"It is not clear if tomorrow's doctors will be adequately prepared to counsel patients on physical activity behaviour change to reduce the unsustainable burden of the broad range of "inactivity"-related diseases. The results from this paper should therefore generate much needed discussion and further research to assess the best methods for teaching physical activity science and promotion to future healthcare professions", the researchers wrote in their report, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.