Green Prescription: Information for health professionals

The information on this page is specifically for Health Professionals.

Find out more about how a Green Prescription will help you become more active.

Learn about local support programmes to help you get active.

You can also contact a physical activity advisor at Sport Canterbury on 0800 ACTIVE (0800 228 483).

Green Prescription (GRx) is a programme funded by the Ministry of Health that supports people to lead active healthy lives.

How the Green Prescription Works

A Green Prescription is a health professional’s written advice to support the patient to increase their physical activity, and is developed in collaboration with the patient.

Green Prescription referrals can be provided for anyone wanting to receive further support to increase or maintain their physical activity. Referrals can help:

  • prevent or manage long-term conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes; and
  • conditions such as arthritis, depression and general weight management.

Sport Canterbury manages the Green Prescription programme for the Canterbury and West Coast regions. They handle referrals and provide programme support.

Making a referral for the GRx programme

To be eligible for a Green Prescription, your client must:

  • be 16 years or over;
  • be medically stable and able to engage in low to moderate physical activity;
  • be currently inactive (less than 150 minutes of physical activity each week);
  • be motivated to increase their level of activity;
  • understand a Green Prescription and consent to be referred; and
  • be able to access appropriate support if they have a physical or mental disability or if language is a barrier.

View the online Health Professionals Referral Form (Sport Canterbury). Regulated health practitioners like GPs can directly refer a client for a Green Prescription through ERMS. Registered nurses, community health workers and allied health practitioners are able to refer but may need sign off from a GP.

Download information on who can refer clients to the Green Prescription programme [PDF].

Contact Sport Canterbury for more information (03 373 5060 or 0800 ACTIVE - 0800 22 84 83).

Support given to Green Prescription patients

A Green Prescription can help your client or patient through:

  • a free initial consultation over the phone or face to face;
  • an individual activity plan and education to help them manage their health (including eating well); and
  • monthly follow-up telephone calls for four months.

The plan will be suited to the client's needs and offer a range of low or no-cost activities such as:

  • group support in a community setting for two months (via the Be Active Programme); and
  • a Have a Go session to try a community-base activity.

A Green Prescription will not fund gym memberships.

The referring health professional will receive a report on their client's progress at the end of the four month period.

Green Prescription in Action

Green Prescriptions have proven to be a highly effective and cost effective way of increasing physical activity over the last 14 years.

Read how 70 year old Annabelle got active and healthier with a Green Prescription.

View the real life stories of people for whom a Green Prescription has improved their health but also the health of friends, family and in many cases their wider community.

Read about how some Cantabrians have got more active through the GRx programme (Sport Canterbury).

Read "A Prescription for Good Health: Green prescriptions in action" from the Ministry of Health which tells the stories of some of the people who benefited from a Green Prescription.

Find out more about the Green Prescription (Ministry of Health)