The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA)
Annual ARMA Lecture: More people, more active, more often: three perspectives on physical activity and musculoskeletal health
21 November 2018
Introduced by Sue Brown ARMA CEO and Liam O’Toole, CEO Versus Arthritis, who partnered with ARMA for the flagship lecture, the three presenters delivered speeches that did not disappoint the rapt audience of health professionals, commissioners, patients, public and NHS health officials and, of course, parkrunners. The discussion about how to overcome the barriers to activity faced by people with musculoskeletal conditions ranged from big picture societal issues to practical how-to’s.
Michael Brannan, Physical Activity Programme Manager, Public Health England said that strength, balance and coordination were often referred to as the ‘forgotten guidelines’ included in the Chief Medical Office Physical Activity Guidelines. While two-thirds of men and half of women achieve the cardiovascular elements of the CMO guidelines, a much smaller proportion meet the strengthening, balance and coordination elements of the CMO guidelines.
Claire Harris, Physiotherapist from NASS, spoke of the general and specific barriers people face to activity, such as time, transport – especially for people in rural communities – fatigue, financial problems, family support, pain, stiffness, disability, low self-esteem, disability and co-morbidities and how to overcome these, for example, motivational interviewing.
Nick Pearson, CEO of the popular weekly parkrun, was thought-provoking and unafraid to challenge the status quo. He said, “Many populations most at risk of life-impacting, disabling health conditions are the populations most likely to be inactive, doubling down on their risk levels and potentially creating a ‘health underclass’; these populations are exposed to the highest environmental and social risk factors, cut adrift and deprived of the vast majority of health initiatives and interventions. Parkrun has been able to cut through some of these structural, political, and social challenges.”
The panel then considered questions such as how some of the success of Parkrun could be imitated, and audience questions.
In case you missed it, or want to see it again, the recording of the event is available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=3sHjMdLRICI