The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Information for professionals

About the campaign

The Shape Up 4 Surgery campaign is led by Leeds Teaching Hospitals. The aim is to encourage everyone needing surgery to get in shape, both physically and mentally, to ensure a quicker and faster recovery.

In general, hospital data shows that smokers stay on average at least one day longer in hospital after surgery compared to ex-smokers, whilst patients who are underweight or overweight have poorer surgical outcomes and longer stays in hospital. Staying active and increasing activity whilst waiting for surgery improves cardiovascular fitness, making your heart and lungs stronger, as well as improving muscle strength. This has been found to reduce length of stay in hospital, reduce post-operative chest infections and improve patients’ self-confidence and results in a faster recovery time.

With approximately 50,000 elective surgeries each year, the aim of the campaign is to be accessible, with a focus on interviews, animations and translatable graphics to convey the messaging. This will be supported by print materials as well as discussions at appointments, where the pre-assessment teams for Leeds General Infirmary, St James’ University Hospital, Chapel Allerton and Wharfedale hospitals will guide patients through the ways they can make a difference to their recovery.

The campaign anchors around four key areas of a PLAN; Physical, Lifestyle, Awareness and Next Steps.

Each area of the PLAN has its own section and relevant information, signposting patients to try some exercises, take part in a mindfulness session, hear about how smoking and drinking affect their body during surgery and know what their next steps are.

P … is for Physical - exercise & movement 

L … is for Lifestyle - eating & wellbeing 

A … is for Awareness - smoking & drinking 

N … is for Next steps - start your surgical journey 

This first phase of what will be a long-term campaign, echoes many of the Public Health messages across the UK, as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic. The next phases will work to engage GPs and healthcare providers and work in partnership with patients and services to support people back to good health, as far in advance of any hospital stay as possible.

Get involved

If you would like to get involved or need more information about the Shape Up For Surgery Campaign, please contact the Leeds Teaching Hospitals communications team on 0113 2060620 or email


Additional resources

Moving Medicine

This dedicated website provides clinicians and allied health professionals with accessible, evidence based, condition specific information to help give advice on physical activity at all stages of children, young peoples and adults treatment pathways. They also provide a toolkit for hospitals to help people be more active during and after their time in hospital The project has been developed in collaboration with experts, professional bodies and charities representing patients and healthcare professionals in each disease area.