if they know that people who have undergone a lower limb amputation find moving more can really help
Common benefits reported by lower limb amputees include:
Providing support and encouragement is important to help people to move towards a point where they will notice a benefit.
Encourage people to start with very small amounts of activity and build up gradually over 3-6 months.
that regular physical activity can help people to take control of their health
The benefits of regular physical activity have been widely published. For adults, achieving 150 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity a week, helps prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.
The risk of death from physical activity is extremely low. Large epidemiological cohorts report a death rate of approximately 1 death per 23 million hours of physical activity for men and 1 death per 36.5 million hours for women.
Whang W, Manson JE, Hu FB, et al. Physical exertion, exercise, and sudden cardiac death in women. JAMA. 2006;295(12):1399-1403.
Albert CM, Mittleman MA, Chae CU, Lee IM, Hennekens CH, Manson JE. Triggering of sudden death from cardiac causes by vigorous exertion. N Engl J Med. 2000;343(19):1355-1361.
them to return and discuss their thoughts about being more active with you or a colleague and offer the patient information
Offer the “information for patients” printout on the benefits of physical activity for lower limb amputees
<40% of lower limb amputees are sufficiently active and 33% are considered sedentary
Langford J, Dillon MP, Granger CL, et al. Physical activity participation amongst individuals with lower limb amputation. Disability and Rehabilitation 2019;41(9):1063-70. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2017.1422031
The least active individuals stand to gain the most from a small increase in physical activity.
Large health gains are seen in individuals increasing their activity levels from very low amounts. For instance, increasing from 10 to 20 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week has a significant effect on life expectancy even though individuals are below the recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity. So, it’s worth supporting very inactive individuals to change their behaviour, particularly as many of the least active members of the population are often seen in healthcare settings.
Department of Health. Start Active, Stay Active: A report on physical activity from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. London: 2011.
NICE. Physical activity: brief advice for adults in primary care. Natl Inst Heal care Excell Public Heal Guidel 44 2013;PH44.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph44
Those who are currently physically inactive should start gently and build up slowly, enabling their body to gradually adapt to the higher levels of activity
Department of Health. Start Active, Stay Active: a report on physical activity from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers. London, 2011
Smith B, Kirby N, Skinner B, et al. Physical activity for general health benefits in disabled adults: summary of a rapid evidence review for the UK Chief Medical Officers’ update of the physical activity guidelines. London: Public Health England, 2018