Pensioners should be prescribed long walks to make them feel happier, Government advisers said yesterday.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) wants GPs to persuade the elderly to enrol on local walking schemes.
Over-65s could also be sent on dance classes and swimming sessions to make them fitter as well as less depressed. The guidelines are being brought in to address the fact that, despite older people being better off than 50 years ago, they are unhappier.
The decline of family networks means that many feel isolated, and increasing life expectancy means more are living with illnesses.
The new guidance says GPs should be able to offer a range of walking schemes of low to moderate intensity with a choice of routes to suit different abilities. The walks should be led by people trained in first aid and should take place at least three times a week. Doctors should also advise pensioners how to exercise safely for 30 minutes a day, in ten-minute bursts, on at least five days a week.
Source - Daily Mail