horsham wellbeingHorsham Wellbeing

Horsham Wellbeing is your local wellbeing service in the Horsham District

The Wellbeing service can help you to find local wellbeing information and services. From its website to the teams in your local area, you can get advice and support on how to make small changes to improve your health and wellbeing, including how to stop smoking, how to become more active or how to make your meals healthier.

Horsham District Wellbeing is a friendly and impartial service which comes from your local authority and other partners, the majority of our services are completely free to users. As well as using its website, you can find out more about local activities and support services by talking to its friendly Wellbeing Advisors over the phone or in person.

one you'One You'

for improving your health...

Public Health England has recently launched a ground-breaking new campaign, ‘One You’, to help adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by modern lifestyles. Everyday habits and behaviours - such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more alcohol than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough - are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England and cost the NHS more than £11 billion a year.

One You encourages people to reappraise their lifestyle choices, put themselves first and do something about their own health. It reminds people that it’s never too late to improve their health - making small lifestyle changes such as eating well, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking or being more active can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond.

The campaign encourages adults to take part in a free online health quiz, called ‘How Are You’, to identify where they can make small changes. The quiz provides personalised recommendations and directs people to tools and advice created by experts to help them take action where it’s most needed.

Take the ‘How Are You’ online quiz now.

Read some Top Tips for being healthy

Articles of Interest

January 2020 - Ready, Steady, Mo! Olympic Champion Spearheads New Year Challenge

Mo Farah has taken to the start line to launch ‘Mo’s Million Mile Challenge’, encouraging the nation to join him and come together to complete a million miles with an aim to raise £100,000 for children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, in partnership with Village Hotel Club.

Kickstarting the first mile of his 2020 training, the four-time Olympic champion and Village’s Community Fitness Ambassador is calling on local communities to ditch the excuses, shake off the post-Christmas slump and take a ‘mo’ to complete a mile for charity, between 9-19 January – in whichever way they can!

The NHS has long championed 150 minutes of exercise a week to reduce the risk of major illnesses by up to 50%, and there’s no better time than January to get up and get moving. With research suggesting it takes a staggering 1.7 days of walking to burn off Christmas lunch alone, Village Gym will be opening the doors to its 30 clubs nationwide to encourage the public to set in motion their New Year fitness regimes and fundraise at the same time.

Funds raised from the Challenge will be donated to support the Youth Sport Trust’s work to change the lives of young people through sport, physical activity and play.

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January 2020 - First Time Marathon Runners Reduce Their Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness

People training for their first ever marathon can expect a drop in their blood pressure and more elastic arteries, according to a new study funded by the British Heart Foundation.

BHF-funded researchers from Barts Health NHS Trust and University College London measured people's central blood pressure and stiffness of the main artery before and after six months of training for the London Marathon. Over the study, patients’ arteries became less stiff - equivalent to a four-year reduction in their 'arterial age' and they experienced a drop in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 4mmHg and 3mmHg, respectively. Older, slower marathon runners with higher baseline blood pressure reaped the greatest benefits.

The research was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

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December 2019 - Five Minutes of Exercise Each Day May Help Reduce Risk of Hip Fractures in Postmenopausal Women

As we age, our bones lose strength, but research at the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine has shown that just five minutes of exercise each day may benefit hip strength in postmenopausal women. Research conducted at Loughborough University asked a group of postmenopausal women to complete up to 50 hops at home each day over the course of six months.

The women hopped on the same leg each day and bone scans were taken before and after the intervention. Over the six months, the bone density increased in the hopping leg compared to a decrease in the non-exercise leg.

Dr Katherine Brooke-Wavell, a senior lecturer in Human Biology in the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, explained: “There are over 79,000 hip fractures in the UK each year, with hospital costs at £1130 million. Postmenopausal women are at a particularly increased risk of low bone density and fracture.

“This research demonstrates that in healthy women, a brief home-based exercise that requires no specialist equipment can increase bone density at the hip and potentially reduce the risk of hip fracture.”

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December 2019 - Loughborough University and World Players Association Launch the First Global Study On Child Athletes' Experiences

To mark Human Rights Day (10 December), Loughborough University has collaborated with the World Players Association to launch the first global Census on Athlete Rights Experiences (Project CARE). Project CARE is a two-year project aiming to change the way that the rights of child athletes are promoted and protected throughout world sport.

The project involves a pilot study and the formulation of clear recommendations to sport governing bodies, governments and player associations for making sport safer for child athletes. It is the first to look into the childhood experiences in organised sport of current professional athletes associated with the worldwide player union movement.

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December 2019 - State of the Nation’s Health in 2018 Shown in New Report

The latest figures for the Health Survey for England have been released by NHS Digital, monitoring trends in the nation’s health and featuring new data on gambling, asthma and longstanding conditions.

The Health Survey for England, 2018 surveyed just over 10,000 adults and children to bring together data on conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, adult and child weight, smoking, drinking and physical activity.

Other information available includes figures on fruit and vegetable consumption, social care for older adults and e-cigarette use.

The Health Survey for England is commissioned annually by NHS Digital, the survey is carried out by NatCen Social Research in conjunction with University College London, who co-author the report with NHS Digital

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December 2019 - SMART Work – Reducing Sitting Time At Work

Office-based employees spend almost 75% of their workday sitting down but 95% report wanting to reduce this. In the UK, half a million employees annually suffer from work-related musculoskeletal issues. Currently, £12.2 billion is spent annually on presenteeism and £10.6 billion on sickness absenteeism. The amount of time staff spend sitting could be contributing to these issues.

Researchers at Loughborough University and the University of Leicester have shown through a robust randomised controlled trial that reducing sitting time at work improves health, wellbeing and work engagement.

They have now developed a free, evidence-based online resource to help employees sit less and move more at work with or without the use of a height adjustable desk. SMART Work consists of three resource kits, one aimed at managers. One at workplace champions and one at individual employees. The tools and resources have been tried and tested in a research project conducted by a team of researchers. Not only is this all free for organisations to access, but there is the evidence to show that it works and can save organisations money.

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November 2019 - Mothers’ Depression and Anxiety Linked to Unhealthy Diets for Children

Having symptoms of depression or anxiety could be affecting the way mothers feed their children and could contribute to youngsters developing unhealthy eating habits, a new study has found. Women who experienced mental health problems, even at low levels, were found to use more controlling or non-responsive feeding practices with their children.

Loughborough University psychologist Dr Emma Haycraft said that the use of controlling feeding practices can disrupt children’s internal regulation. This can contribute to youngsters refusing to eat – meaning that they might then only eat a limited range of foods – or to them overeating – which can lead to them becoming overweight or obese.

Her paper, Mental health symptoms are related to mothers’ use of controlling and responsive child feeding practices: A replication and extension study, was published in the journal Appetite.

The research found that when mothers experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, they were less likely to be a good role model and eat healthy foods in front of their child. They were also less likely to monitor or keep track of what their child eats. Both role modelling and appropriate amounts of monitoring are related to healthy child eating and weight and it could be concerning that mothers experiencing even mild-to-low levels of anxiety or depression might not be using these feeding behaviours with their children.

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November 2019 - What is the Evidence on the Role of the Arts in Improving Health and Well-being? A Scoping Review

Over the past two decades, there has been a major increase in research into the effects of the arts on health and well-being, alongside developments in practice and policy activities in different countries across the WHO European Region and further afield. This report synthesises the global evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing, with a specific focus on the WHO European Region. Results from over 3000 studies identified a major role for the arts in the prevention of ill health, promotion of health and management and treatment of illness across the lifespan.

The reviewed evidence included study designs such as uncontrolled pilot studies, case studies, small-scale cross-sectional surveys, nationally representative longitudinal cohort studies, community-wide ethnographies and randomised controlled trials from diverse disciplines. The beneficial impact of the arts could be furthered through acknowledging and acting on the growing evidence base, promoting arts engagement at the individual, local and national levels and supporting cross-sectoral collaboration.

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November 2019 - Children Become Less Active Each Year of Primary School

A new study shows that by age 11, children are doing more than an hour less of physical activity a week than at age 6. The study revealed a dramatic drop in children’s physical activity levels by the time they finish primary school. Monitoring the behaviour of more than 2,000 children from 57 schools across South West England during primary school, it found children became 17 minutes less active per week every year.

Children wore an accelerometer for five days, including two weekend days, which provided an accurate assessment of how many minutes per day the children participated in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) – enough to get them slightly out of breath and sweaty.

This study found that 61% of children in Year 1 did at least an hour of MVPA per day, but by Year 6, only 41% achieved the target. The drop was particularly steep for girls, who fell from 54% to 28% by the time they finished primary school.

November 2019 - Physical Activity Data Tool

The physical activity data tool presents data on physical activities including walking and cycling at local level for England. It also includes information on related risk factors and conditions such as obesity and diabetes. This latest release includes an update on the percentage of adults walking and cycling for travel at least three days per week.

This release will also include minor updates to the physically active and physically inactive indicators including previous time points for the new local authority geographies that came into being in April 2019 and the inequality breakdown by education level. The aim of the tool is to help promote physical activity, develop understanding and support the benchmarking, commissioning and improvement of services locally.

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October 2019 - Heated Suit Simulates Exercise Benefits for People Unable to Take Part in Physical Activity

Scientists are testing a heated suit which replicates some benefits of exercise without the need for physical activity. A team from Loughborough University is using the prototype device to help people with disabilities, elderly people, and those with chronic diseases that prevent them from taking part in exercise.

It comes following a successful study into how hot baths can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes. Last year, the researchers found that immersing the body in water heated to 39C for an hour a day over two weeks regulated insulin levels, lowered blood pressure and boosted the body’s ability to fight infections. However, participants in the earlier study reported discomfort due to the length of time they spent submerged at high temperatures. Now, the idea behind the suit, which is heated by passing heated water through tubes sown into the fabric, is that the user has more control over the temperature and which parts of the body are targeted, meaning people are more likely to continue with the therapy.

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October 2019 - WHO and FIFA Team Up for Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) and football’s world governing body, FIFA, have agreed a four-year collaboration to promote healthy lifestyles through football globally. The agreement includes four areas of collaboration:

  • Advocacy to promote a healthy lifestyle through football
  • Policy alignment to ensure tobacco-free environments at FIFA events; to encourage national football federations to adopt tobacco-free policies, including at stadiums and to enable WHO to provide technical advice to FIFA on health matters
  • Building on FIFA events to institute lasting improvements in health and safety
  • Joint programmes and initiatives to increase participation in physical activity through football in line with WHO guidance, as well as working with national associations and networks of WHO goodwill ambassadors, football players, coaches and volunteers to increase physical activity through football.

WHO will provide technical advice to FIFA on a variety of health matters, such as ensuring tobacco-free environments at FIFA events and encouraging national football federations to adopt tobacco-free policies, including at stadiums. WHO and FIFA have already co-operated to ban tobacco at football tournaments, including the 2018 World Cup. They will build on efforts made to safeguard health at FIFA events and to institute lasting improvements in health and safety, for example around hygiene and disease prevention.

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October 2019 - Time to Solve Childhood Obesity: Chief Medical Officer Special Report

In a special report, outgoing England Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies calls for action across industry and the public sector to help the government reach its target of halving childhood obesity by 2030. The report sets out a range of recommendations for the government, which are supported by ten principles, and builds on the work the government has already done.

She calls on all politicians across the political spectrum to come together and take action to ensure that children:

  • have access to healthy and affordable food
  • are protected from marketing of unhealthy foods, and
  • have the opportunity to run, bike and play safely.

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October 2019 - New Report Reveals That Prescribing Nature is Excellent Value for Money

A new report reveals that prescribing contact with nature for people who have low levels of mental wellbeing is excellent value for money by improving people’s health and wellbeing. Researchers at Leeds Beckett University analysed the social value of Wildlife Trusts’ nature conservation projects which offer outdoor volunteering opportunities and programmes that support people experiencing problems such as anxiety, stress or mild depression. The report draws on the conclusions of three years of research which found that people participating in both sorts of outdoor nature conservation activities felt significantly better, both emotionally and physically, as a result. They needed, for example, fewer visits to GPs or felt more able to get back into work.

People who have low levels of wellbeing feel healthier and happier when they’re connected to wildlife and wild places. The new report – Social return on investment analysis of the health and wellbeing impacts of Wildlife Trust programmes – calculates the social return on investment for every £1 invested in the two types of project and found that they are excellent value:

  • For every £1 invested in regular nature volunteering projects, which play a part in creating a healthy lifestyle by tackling problems like physical inactivity or loneliness, there is an £8.50 social return.
  • For every £1 invested in specialised health or social needs projects, which connect people to nature and cost more to run, there is a £6.88 social return.

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October 2019 - First 'State of the Nation' Report Marks World Mental Health Day

Friendship, school and a good night’s sleep have all been named as key factors in a young person’s happiness in the government’s first ever State of the Nation report on children’s mental wellbeing. More than four in five young people aged between 10 and 24 say they are happy with their lives, rating themselves happiest with their family and friends, their health, their school and their appearance. Bullying, including cyberbullying, remains a key reason for unhappiness or poor wellbeing, especially among teenage girls, while sleep and leisure time were also reported as important factors.

The landmark research fulfils a government commitment to bring together the best evidence on children and young people’s wellbeing, identifying trends and drivers so that the right support is in place to help them fulfil their potential. The State of the Nation report, which collated the responses of more than 7,000 young people aged from 10 to 24, identified trends that reinforce the government’s emphasis on mobilising mental health awareness and support in schools, including:

  • Ninety-four percent of children felt happy with their family, 91.6% happy with their friends and 94.5% felt they had good or very good health
  • Most young people are happy with their lives, with 82.9% reporting high or very high life satisfaction
  • Age is a clear factor of wellbeing: being older was associated with lower wellbeing
  • Young females were more likely to report that they were recently anxious than males.

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October 2019 - The Activity Trap: Encouraging the Benefits System to Support Activity

A year ago, the Activity Alliance released The Activity Trap: Disabled people’s fear of being active. The report explored the fear among disabled people of losing benefits if seen to be active. This follow up report looks at the headway that has been made to address this situation. The Activity Trap is an important piece of research. Disabled people count for one in five of the UK population, more than 13 million people. However, they remain twice as likely as non-disabled people to be inactive.

The Activity Alliance’s previous research had identified barriers to being active but had not thrown up a challenge that is far more personal for many. It found the need to ask disabled people directly about the subject of benefits specifically because of its sensitive nature. Almost half (47%) of the disabled people said a fear of losing benefits was a barrier to them being more active.

From the report, four key recommendations and four significant discussion points were produced. These helped to begin in addressing the situation. These focused on some of the fears, ambiguity and difficulty involved in being physically active when receiving benefits and financial assistance. This was especially with regard to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The recommendations fell into three broad groups:

  1. Policy and the benefits process
  2. Guidance and support for disabled people
  3. Attitudes and perceptions among disabled and non-disabled people.

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October 2019 - Mind and the EFL Launch 'Goals Worth Talking About' Campaign

Mind and the English Football League (EFL), have launched an awareness campaign for World Mental Health Day 2019, Goals Worth Talking About. Football fans at a number of EFL clubs across the country have voted for their club’s most iconic EFL moment; each of which is set to be immortalised as street art in their respective cities. The murals will appear around the country with the aim of highlighting how football is often a conversation starter, and the importance of talking when it comes to mental health support. The campaign is the latest activity by Mind and the EFL, who are currently in year two of their ground-breaking charity partnership which aims to improve the nation’s mental health and wellbeing and the approach to mental health in football.

Fans from Sunderland, Leeds United, Preston North End, Bristol City, Bristol Rovers, Cardiff City, West Bromwich Albion and Leyton Orient have voted for their favourite EFL goals via their club’s social channels and can look forward to seeing the goals brought to life through live street art in key city centre locations. Running from the 3rd October until World Mental Health Day on the 10th October, a new piece of artwork will be created in a different city each day, before photography of the murals will be displayed at special gallery exhibition in London.

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October 2019 - Physios Group Launches Strengthening Initiative Using National Lottery Funding

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) has announced an innovative project with Sport England and the Centre for Ageing Better to find the best ways to promote the benefits of maintaining and improving muscle strength for people visiting their physiotherapist.

The 15-month initiative will explore people’s understanding and perceptions of the importance of regular strength and balance activities and create messaging and approaches that will help more people meet activity guidelines. These guidelines recommend all adults do activities that challenge the muscles at least twice a week.

Despite the importance of strengthening activities, research has revealed very low levels of awareness that strengthening activity is needed on a weekly basis. Indeed, only 9% of adults surveyed were aware of the requirement, with 34% of the respondents doing fewer than two days per week of muscle strengthening exercises.

Crucially, the initiative will look at the role physiotherapy staff can play in encouraging more uptake of strengthening activities, both directly with patients and in developing and promoting public facing materials, such as strength-based apps or training programmes. This initiative is made possible through National Lottery funding via a £150,000 grant from Sport England.

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September 2019- Health Profile for England 2019

The third annual profile giving a broad picture of the health of people in England in 2019 has been released. Each of the Health Profile for England reports give an annual snapshot of the health of the population in a given year. Introduced in 2017 the subsequent reports are updated and changes to the format made in line with changing priorities.

Where data is available, data, tables and some charts have been updated. The main findings and notable changes since last year are highlighted in an accompanying blog. A slide set of charts and infographics is also available to download online.

Chapters are included on:

  • Population, deaths, life expectancy and healthy life expectancy
  • Trends in mortality
  • Trends in morbidity and behavioural risk factors
  • Children and young people
  • Inequalities in health
  • Wider determinants of health
  • Current and emerging health protection issues

Learn more here

September 2019- New Physical Activity Guidelines Issued by UK Chief Medical Officers

New guidance has been issued by the UK Chief Medical Officers emphasising the importance of building strength and balance for adults, as well as focusing on cardiovascular exercise. Falls are the main reason older people are taken to A&E and could be avoided through daily activities such as brisk walking, carrying heavy shopping, climbing stairs, swimming and gardening.

There is strong evidence that physical activity protects against a range of chronic conditions. Meeting the guidelines can reduce the risk of:

  • type 2 diabetes by 40%
  • coronary heart disease by 35%
  • depression by 30%

The new guidelines are an update to those released in 2011, but the overall message remains the same: any activity is better than none, and more is better still. Under the new guidelines, adults are advised to undertake strength-based exercise at least two days a week. This can help delay the natural decline in muscle mass and bone density that starts from around age 50. It is believed that this is a major reason why older people lose their ability to carry out daily tasks.

The guidance advises on safe levels of activity for pregnant women and new mothers, and the many benefits that this can bring as long as they listen to their body and speak to their health professional. A moderate amount of exercise for new mothers is proven to help them:

  • regain strength
  • ease back pain
  • reduce the risk of gestational diabetes

New advice is also available to encourage good development in babies and children, with the UK Chief Medical Officers recommending lots of ‘tummy time’. As much active play as possible in children under 5 is encouraged, and older children are recommended to be active for an average of 60 minutes a day across the week. To support this, the government will work with nurseries to find fun opportunities for young children to exercise during the day through the new Daily Toddle initiative.

Read more here

January 2019- Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy - Start Well, Live Well, Age Well

The West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) has launched a public consultation on their draft Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy - Start Well, Live Well, Age Well.

The Board is inviting professionals, partners, communities, residents and other stakeholders to give their views on the draft strategy to help reshape the final document. All feedback received will be considered at the end of the consultation.

Click here to respond

January 2019- 10 Year Olds in the UK have Consumed 18 Years' Worth of Sugar

Children have already exceeded the maximum recommended sugar intake for an 18 year old by the time they reach their tenth birthday, according to Public Health England (PHE). This is based on their total sugar consumption from the age of 2. This figure comes as a new Change4Life campaign supporting families to cut back on sugar and to help tackle growing rates of childhood obesity is launched.

While children’s sugar intakes have declined slightly in recent years, they are still consuming around eight excess sugar cubes each day, equivalent to around 2,800 excess sugar cubes per year. To help parents manage this, Change4Life is encouraging them to ‘Make a swap when you next shop’. Making simple everyday swaps can reduce children’s sugar intake from some products (yoghurts, drinks and breakfast cereals) by half – while giving them healthier versions of the foods and drinks they enjoy.

Parents can try swapping:

  • a higher-sugar yoghurt (for example split-pot) for a lower sugar one, to halve their sugar intake from 6 cubes of sugar to 3
  • a sugary juice drink for a no-added sugar juice drink, to cut back from 2 cubes to half a cube
  • a higher-sugar breakfast cereal (such as a frosted or chocolate cereal) for a lower sugar cereal, to cut back from 3 cubes to half a cube per bowl.

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January 2019- England's Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report 2018: Better Health Within Reach

Professor Dame Sally Davies' tenth report as Chief Medical Officer considers what the state of the public’s health in England in 2040 could look like. The report concludes that there are reasons to be optimistic but that greater effort to improve the health environment is required – it should be easier to take the healthy option.

There are four main sections in the report, discussing:

  • health as the nation’s primary asset
  • the health environment we live in and build together
  • using emerging technologies to improve health for everyone
  • effective planning for the future.

Professor Dame Sally Davies’ report is independent of government and is aimed at government, regulators, policy-makers and healthcare professionals. Each recommendation is targeted at specific organisations. The report has been developed with the help of expert academic input.

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