Exercise Referral

Exercise referral is when a medical professional refers the patient to an exercise programme.

An Overview of Exercise Referral

The Exercise (Health) Referral scheme is designed to aid individuals (adults aged 16 or over) who have been identified by their GP or other health professional to take up the benefits of participation in enjoyable exercise.

There are plenty of options when it comes to exercise referrals across east Suffolk, which can be found further down the page.

If you suffer from any of the following conditions you could be eligible for the Exercise Referral Scheme:

  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • back pain
  • diabetes
  • depression
  • high blood pressure
  • heart condition
  • high cholesterol
  • osteoporosis
  • obesity


Physical Activity can play an important role in preventing and managing health conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, mental health problems, musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers.

Exercise can have a positive effect on well-being and mood, providing a sense of achievement or relaxation and release from daily stress.

  • Greater social cohesion by helping people to socialise, providing a means of getting involved with the community
  • Increasing how much physical activity someone does can significantly improve both their physical and mental well-being and reduce illnesses and disease throughout life
  • It can also improve life expectancy
  • Being active improves sleep, enhances quality of life and well-being
  • Reduces stress
  • Increases concentration levels
  • Improves balance, co-ordination and cardiovascular fitness
  • Increases self-confidence

For more information and local contacts/welcome packs, visit:

Active Living | Abbeycroft Leisure (acleisure.com)

Everyone Active's GP Exercise Referral Scheme

Health and Wellbeing | Deben Leisure Centre | Woodbridge – Places Leisure

Health and Wellbeing | Felixstowe Leisure Centre – Places Leisure

Active NoW - Online Referral Form - ReferAll - Online Referral Form (refer-all.net)

For Cancer support - Up and Active — John Le Vay Cancer Support & Information Centre (ipswichcancerinformation.co.uk)

Physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation - Physio - Self Referral (physioselfrefer.co.uk)

UK physical activity guidelines recommend that over a week, adults should be active for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity. The 150 minutes doesn't have to be completed in one go. It can be broken down into smaller bouts of activity; in bouts of 10 minutes or more.

Public Health England recommends out of these 150 minutes, muscle strengthening activities should be carried out two days of the week.

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