"Active consulting” during and post covid-19: opportunities for clinicians to move more

Richard S. Mayne*, N. D. Hart, N. Heron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of clinical work for most healthcare professionals involved face-to-face consultation with patients. Throughout the working day, in both inpatient and outpatient settings, clinicians had many opportunities to expend energy by breaking up their sedentary time with physical activity. In the hospital setting, working on wards and in emergency departments has always required physical movement among staff in order to provide effective care for patients. This has remained a necessity despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In many hospital settings, the energy expenditure of staff may even have increased due to the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE)1.
In the outpatient and community settings, however, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in rapid changes to traditional consulting practices which may have detrimental effects on the levels of sedentary behaviour and physical activity among clinicians in these environments. Almost overnight, when the first wave of COVID-19 infections was reaching its peak, most clinicians in outpatient and community settings switched to remote consulting where possible, using telehealth methods such as telephone and video2-4. There are many advantages of telehealth, such as reduced transmission of communicable diseases, and the potential for better time-efficiency2,4. There are also numerous disadvantages, such as reduced patient rapport, and less ability to pick up on non-verbal cues and incidental findings2,4. The pros and cons of remote consulting could be debated extensively, and vary depending on the clinical and situational context. Regardless of the positive and negative consequences of this rapid shift towards remote consulting, it is likely that it is here to stay. Addressing all of the good and bad points of remote consulting is beyond the scope of this paper. Instead, this paper examines the effects of remote consulting on the sedentary behaviour and physical activity of healthcare professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP184
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalIrish Medical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
RSM?s study fees and maintenance come from Health and Social Care Research and Development Division, Public Health Agency?s GP Academic Research Training Scheme and EAT/5332/19.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Health promotion
  • Physical activity
  • Sedentary behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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