The ISEH's mission is to be the leading institute of sport, exercise and health in the world. Its work is designed to benefit the whole population, from those at risk of ill health through sedentary lifestyles through to elite athletes. Our work programme focuses on:

  • chronic disease prevention and treatment
  • sports injuries and musculoskeletal health
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • performance health.

Dr Mike Loosemore, Lead Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine at the ISEH and Lead Sports Physician for the South of England at the English Institute for Sport, works with both NHS patients and elite sports teams. He comments: “The health benefits of physical fitness, gained through even moderate physical activity, are well established. For a wide range of conditions, exercise is both a preventive measure and an aid to swifter and/or more complete recovery.”

“Examples of this include diabetes, which is strongly associated with obesity, is expected to affect four million people in the UK by 2025 and currently costs around 10% of the NHS budget to treat. Also, those recovering from cancer are also more likely to survive, and cancer is less likely to reoccur, if moderate physical activity is part of their treatment plan.” 

The benefits of exercise are not limited to health, says Dr Loosemore. “Studies have shown that school children who are physically fitter also perform better academically.”

Dr Loosemore sees the establishment of physical activity as a medical intervention as part of a range of initiatives designed to benefit public health, alongside measures such as improved urban design to encourage walking and cycling. He sees the ISEH’s role as “getting physical activity onto the clinical pathway” by establishing exercise as part of treatment for all non-infective chronic disease and by offering authoritative information and expert advice about the links between exercise and health.  

Studies by bodies such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) show that the health benefits of physical activity are well proven and that this is a major global issue. More research is crucial, to ensure that the medical profession and Government alike have access to evidence rather than speculation.”

The ISEH’s research programme is centred on improving clinical practice and population health. This includes improving our understanding of the links between exercise and health.

Read a BBC interview with Dr Loosemore about the health benefits of doing even small amounts of exercise.