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Exercise referral schemes' effectiveness 'remains unclear'

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Much uncertainty remains about the effectiveness of exercise referral schemes for increasing physical activity, fitness or health indicators, a meta-analysis of other studies has concluded.

The BMJ reports that compared with usual care, follow-up data for exercise referral schemes showed an increased number of participants who achieved 90-150 minutes of physical activity per week, and reduced depression.

However, evidence of a between-group difference was inconsistent at follow-up.

Researchers did not find significant difference in outcomes between exercise referral schemes and the other two comparator groups.

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