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Table 1 Summary of Recommendations

From: Participants' perceptions of a lifestyle approach to promoting physical activity: targeting deprived communities in Kingston-Upon-Hull

• Ensure a sufficient number of staff (i.e. physical activity advisors) are employed to meet service demands, and that staff have enough time to support patients effectively.
• Ensure that physical activity advisors have the appropriate skills and qualities (e.g. empathy, reliability, sincerity, knowledge) and that the approach taken is empowering and supportive.
• Services should be sufficiently promoted e.g. via posters and leaflets in GP surgeries, hospitals, libraries, and use of local media.
• Marketing should target unfit, older, overweight individuals.
• Ensure health professionals (e.g. GPs, practice nurses, dieticians) have sufficient information and awareness about the service.
• Upon referring a patient, health professionals should provide the patient with information (e.g. a leaflet) about the service so they know what to expect.
• Ensure that an appropriate number of accessible venues are available for consultations.
• Consultations with advisors should be at monthly intervals.
• Telephone support should be an optional aspect of the service.
• Patients should be encouraged to start slowly and build up activity and confidence gradually.
• For patients wanting to lose weight, provide support for changing eating as well as activity behaviours.
• Provide physical activity and food diaries to help patients to monitor progress.
• Explore the implications of providing a continuing service e.g. optional bi-annual 'check-ups' with advisors.
• Ensure the service links with other supportive services and staff e.g. smoking cessation, dieticians, counselling.
• Seek to secure ongoing funding for exercise referral services.