The Okotoks Recreation Centre, along with Natural High Fitness, is participating in a partnership with local family doctors and health care providers to support the health promotion initiative called Prescription to Get Active (RxTGA). This program sees recreation centres and health care providers work together to promote the importance of regular physical activity in a way that helps facilitate behaviour change in individuals, of all ages, who are at risk for developing health problems if they do not increase their activity levels.
Participants who receive a prescription from their doctor must then present their completed RxTGA form to the Client Services desk at the Okotoks Recreation Centre. They will then receive a one month complimentary facility pass to the Okotoks Recreation Centre. To encourage individuals to continue their fitness activity once their RxTGA pass expires, a 10% discount will be offered when participants of this program purchase a new facility pass (10-time, 1-month, 3-month or annual).
This Primary Care Network program and partnership, is a positive community initiative that takes an extra step to help motivate individuals to become more active and lead healthier lives, which in turn, may help prevent future chronic disease.
About Prescription to Get Active
The Prescription to Get Active (RxTGA) program is based on a growing body of evidence that supports the critical role of physical activity in overall health and the pivotal role that primary care providers and recreation can play. If healthcare and recreation providers can influence patients and the general public to modestly increase physical activity levels, we can expect to see 222,000 fewer hypertension cases, 120,000 fewer diabetes cases, 170,000 fewer heart disease cases and 31,000 fewer cancer cases in Canada within the next 25 years. This will potentially reduce healthcare costs by $2.6 billion and inject $7.5 billion into the Canadian Economy.1
RxTGA utilizes the influence and motivational power of a written prescription to encourage sedentary patients, who are at risk of developing chronic disease, to become more physically active. While the idea of a written prescription for activity is not new, the strength of the partnerships between community and primary care providers supporting physical activity makes this initiative unique and distinct across Canada.
As of October 2015, there were 22 PCNs partnered with over 2400 family physicians and their teams writing more than 4,000 prescriptions and over 100 recreational facilities participating in Alberta with numbers continuing to grow.
Since inception, this initiative has facilitated behaviour change in hunreds of participants who have pushed themselves over the initial hurdle of starting with physical activity and, more importantly, sustaining their activity to become healthier individuals.