Sport for Confidence Leads Collaboration To Create 'The Therapeutic Value of Cycling' Guide
Posted on 2nd October 2022 at 18:02
Sport For Confidence has joined forces with The Royal College of Occupational Therapists, Moving Occupational Therapists and Sport England, to drive ‘The Therapeutic Value of Cycling - a resource for health professionals’. The guide has been co-created with students on their clinical placement, drawing on insight and experience from a number of other partners with the aim of encouraging health care professionals to promote and use cycling within their clinical practise.
“If physical activity was promoted by all health care professionals and used more widely as an assessment and intervention tool, this could make a significant contribution to reducing inactivity and levelling up health inequalities,” says Lauren Walker, Professional Adviser, RCOT.
Lauren continues: “Across the UK there are over 150,000 Allied Health Professionals1, more than 40,000 of which are occupational therapists2.”Through education and resources such as this new guide to the therapeutic value of cycling, we aim to support health professionals to understand the benefits cycling can deliver in terms of therapeutic outcomes and encourage them to embed it within their practise.”
The Therapeutic Value of Cycling guide has been produced by occupational therapy students from Derby and Sheffield University, supported and supervised by Sport for Confidence, in collaboration with British Cycling, Wheels for Wellbeing, Mixed Ability Sports, Sheffield Cycling 4 All, Cycling UK and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Disability Rights UK, Disability Sheffield and Health Education England.
“This project has been a true collaboration”, says Liz Fletcher, Occupational Therapist at Sport for Confidence. “It is full of information about how cycling can be adapted and embedded within assessment and intervention, giving health professionals the professional permission they need to embrace cycling as a core component of their clinical delivery. It also explores the range of cognitive, sensory and physical outcomes that can be achieved through participation, brought to life by lived experience case studies and backed up by scientific evidence.
“Across the UK, disabled people and those living with a long-term health condition are less likely to be active. This is leading to widening health inequalities. Through education and support that enable the inclusion of cycling in clinical practise, we aim to mobilise health care professionals to play a significant role in closing the inequalities gap, creating a more equitable society where everyone has access to the services and facilities they need to live a healthy, happy and fulfilling life.”
This project has been funded and supported by Sport England and coincides with the start of a £12.7 million trial, announced by the Department of Transport, to encourage GPs to prescribe cycling as part of a wider social prescribing movement designed to improve the nation’s mental and physical health.
Speaking about the investment, Jeanette Bain-Burnett, Executive Director Policy and Integrity, Sport England, says: “At Sport England, we are committed to tackling inequalities and transforming lives through participation in physical activity. Sport For Confidence are a valued partner, whose knowledge and expertise will play a key part in helping us to achieve these aims.
“It is also pleasing to see Sport For Confidence building on its track record of recognising the value that Allied Health Professionals can play in the promotion and use of physical activity. We hope that this guide will be a valuable resource for many.”
‘The Therapeutic Value of Cycling a resource for health professionals’, is the latest addition to a suite of resources produced by Sport For Confidence in collaboration with partners to help and encourage health professionals integrate physical activity. Other resources include: Using Boccia as an Assessment and Intervention Tool and The Therapeutic Use of Table Tennis.
To follow our conversation on social media, please use the hashtag: #Cycling4Wellbeing
Quotes from supporting partners:
‘Health Education England South West are proud to be supporting Sport for Confidence to expand the opportunities they can offer to students on placements.
It is great to see such a valuable example of how students can contribute to the production of materials such as the Therapeutic Value of Cycling Guide, demonstrating how the student voice and input can add meaningful value to an organisation and its clients whilst on placement.’
Jane Bunce, Placement Lead, South West, Health Education England
It has been a pleasure to collaborate with Sport For Confidence and partners to produce this helpful guide. We at British Cycling hope that is demonstrates how inclusive and accessible cycling can be and that it actively encourages health care professionals to help and support others to experience the many benefits that cycling can bring.
Lyndsey Hollands, National Disability Manager, British Cycling
We are very pleased to have been involved in bringing this guide into existence. We hope that it will enable Occupational Therapists and other medical professionals to have the information and confidence to support Disabled people to experience the joys of cycling and all the benefits that come with it.
Cycling is amazing. We’re making it accessible for everyone!
Rosemary Hill, Sheffield Cycling 4 All
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