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Just What The Doctor Ordered

A public health initiative Green Prescription

Regular Walking is the Key

Piripiri Rikiti and Lisa Gregory
Piripi’s story is that physical activity and change of diet can improve one’s quality of life. Piripi had a huge incentive to lose weight and become more active. He knew his inactive lifestyle and unhealthy diet would most likely lead to some of the many medical conditions present in his family history.

After Piripi received his Green Prescription in October 2000 from Dr Colin Chin, Sport Canterbury contacted him and encouraged him into a regular walking program. Piripi started walking 15 minutes a day and also made changes to his diet with advice from a dietitian.

In the first two months Piripi increased his walking to 25 minutes a day and found that with the improvement in his fitness and loss of weight, his motivation to continue increased. Seven months later Piripi has lost nearly two stone, is feeling fitter and no longer suffers as much ‘huff and puff’. His family and peers have all noticed the change and Piripi knows he has taken a step in the right direction.

Piripi still keeps in contact with Sport Canterbury and with their assistance has now also started a strengthening programme. He has achieved many goals that he set for himself and is now looking towards bigger and better things.

click here for other GRx success stories

Participating GPs and Practice Nurses click here for resources.

image What is a Green Prescription?

A Green Prescription is a health professional's written advice to a patient to be physically active as part of the patient's health management.

Why Prescribe 'Green'?

Clinical trials conducted in Auckland and Dunedin on behalf of the Hillary Commission in 1995 showed that general practitioners prescribed green because of the health benefits to their patients.

Making it Happen

Green Prescriptions encourage general practitioners and the community to work together. The key players are:

  • General Practitioners
  • Practice Nurses
  • Patients
  • Activity providers

Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs)

Regional sports trusts, such as Sport Northland and Counties-Manukau Sports Foundation, co-ordinate the Hillary Commission's activity programmes.

The Health Benefits

Green Prescriptions will:

improve the health of New Zealanders by increasing regular physical activity and raising awareness of the benefits of exercise.

Putting the Idea Into Practice

Green Prescriptions have now begun nationwide, thanks to a partnership with general practitioner groups and funding from Pharmac.

General practitioners, practice nurses and any other group interested in becoming involved should contact the Hillary Commission for details.

We recommend that all children and adults should set a long-term goal to accumulate at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, or preferably all, days of the week.

US Surgeon-General, July 1996

The good news is that people can benefit from even moderate levels of physical activity.

US Surgeon-General, July 1996

Pharmac - Pharmaceutical Management Agency For further information contact:

Diana O'Neill

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The Hillary Commission for Sport, Fitness and Leisure
Te Komihana Haakinakina a Hillary
Our programmes are funded by the NZ Lottery Grants Board