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Sunderland researchers urged Metro passengers to step out for fitness

Newcastle University medical student Alisdair Love, left, and Dr Glen Rae, clinical lead for the Sunderland Integrated Musculoskeletal Service
Newcastle University medical student Alisdair Love, left, and Dr Glen Rae, clinical lead for the Sunderland Integrated Musculoskeletal Service

Metro passengers are being urged to hit the road - and improve their health.

The Sunderland Integrated Musculoskeletal Service (SIMS), which works with people who have conditions affecting their muscles, bones and joints, teamed up with Metro operator Nexus to ask passengers about their exercise regime, including how much they did, their reasons for not achieving the NHS-recommended levels for good health and wellbeing and whether ‘walking a stop or two’ once or twice or two a week would help.

With about 38million journeys a year on the Metro, there is a huge opportunity to encourage large numbers of people to increase their activity levels by active commuting.

Alisdair Love

The research was carried out by Newcastle University medical student Alisdair Love, while he was on placement with SIMS.

Dr Glen Rae, Clinical Lead for SIMS, said: “We actively seek and participate in research opportunities, as well as other improvement initiatives to ensure the best possible care informed by current best practice is available to our patients.

“Regular exercise, in combination with a well-balanced diet, is the best way to keep all parts of your musculoskeletal system strong and healthy so we were delighted to support this latest public-health focused research project looking at improving uptake of exercise in the region.

“Many of the respondents in our questionnaire highlighted time pressures as the reason for not getting enough exercise. Walking a stop or two during one or two Metro journeys a week is a simple way to help them to achieve the recommended levels without impacting too much on their working day.”

The NHS recommends adults try to be active daily and do at least 150 minutes’ moderate aerobic activity every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles.

“With about 38million journeys a year on the Metro, there is a huge opportunity to encourage large numbers of people to increase their activity levels by active commuting,” said Alisdair Love.

“The production of a ‘walking Metro map’ could be a great tool to not only raise awareness of this but also the public health recommendations on physical activity.”