Love Exploring? Download the FREE app here to discover a range of discovery games and guided tours!

Skip to main content

Doctors Should Prescribe Swimming to aid Illness and Medical Conditions for the British Public

Filter by month:
Doctors Should Prescribe Swimming to aid Illness and Medical Conditions for the British Public

Swim England has today called for the medical profession to be more proactive in prescribing swimming as part of a programme of activity to manage a variety of medical conditions and aid recovery.  

Elaine McNish, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Swim England said:  

Swimming is an ideal activity which can help people manage a range of medical conditions and we are calling on the medical profession to consider recommending swimming to people who would benefit from improved physical health. 

As part of our Love Swimming campaign, a range of people from all over the UK have told inspirational stories of how swimming has transformed their physical health.  

As the government and medical profession increasingly move to prescribe exercise as a conduit to improved physical health, we believe that swimming and wider aquatic activity is increasingly the answer for many people and are today calling on health professionals to consider prescribing swimming in ever increasing numbers.” 

Swim England today launched the latest phase of its Love Swimming campaign focussing on individuals from across the UK who were prescribed swimming to aid a range of medical conditions. They are all strong advocates of the power of swimming to improve their medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, arthritis and chronic pain. 

The campaign is launched ahead of World Health Day on 7 April.  

Evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a health professional, yet nearly three quarters of GPs do not speak about the benefits of physical activity to patients due to either lack of knowledge, skills or confidence. (Source: Moving Medicine) 

The current Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has called for a “culture shift” and for medical professionals to act on the evidence that activity, such as swimming or long walks, can cut the risk of illness and boost survival from major diseases. 

To showcase the physical benefits and the impact of prescribing swimming, Swim England have created three short films which share the stories of individuals who have experienced phenomenal physical health benefits as a result of swimming.  

Steve Wright, 62, is a Type 2 diabetic who was diagnosed nearly a decade ago but had never taken his health seriously. After suffering a stroke in 2018, he realised he needed to take action. He worked with a medical professional who suggested he try swimming and he has seen remarkable health improvements in the last six months. His diabetes is now under control and he’s looking forward to a healthier future. 

Treatment for Type 2 diabetes accounts for nearly 9% of the annual NHS budget, totalling an enormous £8.8 billion every year. With 3.8 million people in England already diagnosed and an additional 200,000 new diagnoses each year, it’s taking a real toll on resource. (Source: 2018) 

On his involvement in the Love Swimming campaign, the Chester-le-Street local said:

The benefits of swimming physically, mentally, socially, have been massive. To be able to share my story and be part of Swim England’s campaign is brilliant. If I can help inspire just one person to give swimming a go, I will be absolutely delighted.” 

The campaign video series also includes Wanda Stockdale who was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her early 30s and has described swimming as “absolutely life-changing”, and Paul Kirby who found swimming had a phenomenal impact on his health when his desk-job resulted in a severe back injury and resulting limp.  

To find out more about swimming facilities near you, visit and #LoveSwimming.


Latest news from Active Black Country

View all news
Get Set to Eat Fresh are excited to announce the return of Kevin the Carrot, the star of Aldi’s Christmas advert for a fourth year...
Read more
It's that time again and this year, more than ever before, we all need to look after ourselves but also have some fun! Across the...
Read more
In partnership with Walsall Council, Dudley Council, Sandwell Council, City of Wolverhampton Council and WM Network, Active Black...
Read more


Best practice examples and initiatives from across the 5 key indicators on how you could utilise your Primary PE and Sport Premium funding.

Read more


Timely data and learnings in relation to physical activity and sport in the Black Country and the added value we can offer.

Read more


Resources and videos to support the Black Country sport & physical activity workforce, sports clubs and community organisations.

Read more

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive monthly updates

County Sports Partnership Network
Sport England
Include Me West Midlands
Youth Sport Trust
Activity Alliance
Youth Endowment Fund
Sporting Equals
West Mids PCC
Dudley CVS
One Walsall
Dept of Health
Dept for Education
Equality Standard in Sport