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

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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December 2018 - New European Website on Exercise Guidelines for People with a Spinal Cord Injury

A new website highlighting exercise guidelines for people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) has been launched by Loughborough academics in association with European partners. Disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive than able-bodied people, therefore understanding the amount and type of activity they need to do to benefit their health is important. The scientific guidelines were developed in 2017 by an international group of 29 researchers, clinicians, community organisations and people with spinal cord injury.

Following on from the launch of the exercise guidelines in 2017 the new website www.sciguidelines.eu has resources in six European languages to aid in disseminating the information across Europe. The guidelines have been translated into five languages, as well as English, to make them accessible to as many people across Europe as possible. They are available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Swedish.

As well as clear and concise information on the guidelines themselves, an infographic is also available in each language which outlines the process behind the development of the guidelines. Videos can be viewed highlighting what the guidelines are and why they are important in a number of languages. These also include animations which make the guidelines message easily accessible. Each page contains a local contact for people in their area to get in touch with if they have any questions about the guidelines or would like to know more about dissemination in their country. There is also a related resources section signposting towards resources in each country that users may also find helpful.

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December 2018 - Pocket Parks Plus: Supporting Parks and Public Spaces

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is providing a £1 million fund to support the development of new pocket parks and to refurbish existing parks that have fallen into disrepair where their restoration could have a significant positive impact on the local community and address a specific local need.

The scheme provides grants to community-led bodies working in partnership with their local authority with the aim of creating new pocket parks or bringing existing green spaces up to a safe, usable standard and ensuring long-term support for those initiatives. A pocket park is a piece of land of up to 0.4 hectares, (although many are around 0.02 hectares, the size of a tennis court) which may already be under grass, but which is unused, undeveloped or derelict.

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December 2018 - #Trainbrave Campaign to Raise Awareness of the Risks of Eating Disorders and RED-s

A campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the prevalence of eating disorders and relevant energy deficiency in sports (RED-s) among athletes. Global studies have shown that there is a 20% higher prevalence amongst athletes of all ages and abilities to develop a dysfunctional relationship with food and training. The #Trainbrave campaign aims to encourage athletes and coaches to talk more, and not just about performances. Being brave enough to share their mutual concerns and asking each other for help, as well as fuelling training sufficiently, recognising warning signs of disordered behaviour and reducing the risks of overtraining.

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December 2018 - Businesses to Reduce Social Isolation with New Initiative

Living Streets has launched Walking Friends an initiative which helps businesses meet their corporate social responsibility targets whilst boosting the lives of the local communities in which they operate.

Living Streets trains employees to become walk leaders. These ‘walking friends’ then organise led walks for people aged 65+ in the local community.

There are over 10.8 million people over 65 in the UK, 3.8 million of whom live alone. Research from Age UK found that one million older people say they always, or often, feel lonely, and nearly one in five see their family, friends or neighbours less than weekly.

For the first-time, the Government recently published its Loneliness Strategy, aimed at helping increase the quality of life for our ageing population. The Strategy recognises the importance of older people staying active and social through walking activities.

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December 2018 - Can’t Exercise? A Hot Bath May Help Improve Inflammation and Metabolism, Study Suggests

A study led by a Loughborough University PhD student has found hot-water immersion improved inflammation and blood sugar levels in people who are unable to exercise. ‘The acute and chronic effects of hot water immersion on inflammation and metabolism in sedentary, overweight adults’ was led by PhD student Sven Hoekstra, under the guidance of Dr Christof Leicht and Dr Lettie Bishop, of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS).

The researchers studied markers of inflammation and blood sugar and insulin levels in a group of sedentary, overweight men. Physical stress such as exercise can cause the short-term elevation of inflammatory markers. After exercise, the level of an inflammatory chemical (IL-6) rises. In a process called the ‘inflammatory response’, this activates the release of anti-inflammatory substances to combat unhealthily high levels of inflammation, known as chronic low-grade inflammation.

The researchers took a resting blood sample after the participants had rested in a 27-degree C room for 15 minutes. After the rest period, the participants either remained seated in the room or entered a hot water bath for 60 minutes. In the hot water trial, the volunteers sat immersed up to their neck in 39-degree C water. The research team measured the men’s heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature every 15 minutes throughout both the control and immersion conditions. Blood samples were taken again immediately after and two hours after each session.

The researchers found that a single hot-water immersion session causes the elevation of plasma Il-6 concentration and increased nitric oxide production, but did not change the expression of heat shock protein 72 – another protein suggested to be important for health.

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November 2018 - People in Most Deprived Areas of England Develop Multiple Health Conditions 10 Years Earlier Than Those in Least Deprived

People in the most deprived areas in England can expect to have two or more health conditions at 61 years, which is 10 years earlier than people in the least deprived areas, according to research carried out by the Health Foundation.

The analysis finds that approximately 14.2 million people have two or more conditions, which represents nearly a quarter (24%) of all adults living in England. Over half (55%) of hospital admissions and outpatient visits and three quarters (75%) of primary care prescriptions are for people living with two or more conditions.

The number of people living with multiple conditions is expected to continue to grow. The Health Foundation’s analysis projects that this will lead to an increase in total hospital activity by 14%, at a cost of £4bn, over the next five years. A sustainable NHS will need to improve both the quality and cost effectiveness of care for people with multiple conditions.

The analysis also finds that almost a third (30%) of people with four or more conditions are under 65 and this percentage is higher for people living in socioeconomically deprived areas. This highlights that living with multiple conditions affects a broad range of people and is not always related to old age. Improving care for multiple conditions requires action across the NHS and other sectors, not only in services targeting older people.

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November 2018 - Taking Steps Towards a Happier, Healthier Workforce

Paths for All has launched a new award to celebrate employers who encourage everyday walking in the workplace. The Walk at Work Award is a new accreditation which will recognise employers who are promoting walking and physical activity and offer guidance to those who want their workforce to become more active. Active meetings, lunchtime walks, standing desks and promoting ways to get to work on foot will all count towards the award.

With the average working-age adult sitting for 9.5 hours a day, the Walk at Work award aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces and celebrate employers who are getting their staff moving. By signing up for the award, employers will receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources.

Recent findings from UK workplaces reveal that half of all employees experience poor mental health at work, including stress, anxiety and depression. Regular walking can reduce the effects of poor mental health, particularly walking in greenspace. Physical activity can also combat against the risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers and stroke.

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November 2018 - Football Boosting Young Girls' Mental Wellbeing and Confidence

Girls’ mental health in schools is being helped through football, new research from children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust and The Football Association (FA) has found.

Game of Our Own is focused on introducing more girls to football by teaching leadership skills, which can then be applied in girls’ own schools to engage their peers. It also supports schools and teachers to have a better understanding of barriers to participation and how to engage girls.

Forty percent of the girls who took part in a post programme survey said that their mental wellbeing had been improved by taking part. It also revealed that 90% of girls who had helped to lead and deliver the programme said their confidence had been improved generally – with more girls feeling that their confidence to play football had been boosted.

The research revealed that to engage more girls to play football in schools and further develop their mental and physical wellbeing through the game, there should be:
- Greater focus upon team building and socialising than competition, leading to wider participation in the sport.
- Opportunities provided to play away from boys, by not allowing them to watch or be nearby to pitches, as some girls reported that judgment from boys had discouraged them in the past.
- Consideration given to a ‘passport’ system making participants aware of the life skills they are gaining allowing them to record this information in their own ‘passports’.

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November 2018 - Food and Activity Triangles

New nutrition and physical activity guides have been published by the Flemish Institute for Healthy Living. Designed to make people aware of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and to motivate them to make healthy choices, the models are based on a comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of existing models, people’s behaviour, as well as nutrition, physical activity and communication science.

The models are action-oriented, encouraging gradual progress towards healthier lives. They are accompanied by materials and tools which encourage healthy eating and regular physical activity and warn against long periods of sedentary behaviour. While the nutrition and activity triangles are for the entire population from aged one and up, many of the flanking tools target specific groups such as children, the elderly or disadvantaged groups.

The activity triangle stresses the importance of regular movement along with more strenuous daily and weekly activity.

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November 2018 - Prevention is Better than Cure

This document sets out the Department for Health and Social Care’s vision for putting prevention at the heart of the nation's health. It aims to improve healthy life expectancy so that, by 2035, we are enjoying at least five extra years of healthy, independent life, whilst closing the gap between the richest and poorest.

Prevention is about helping people stay healthy, happy and independent for as long as possible. This means reducing the chances of problems from arising in the first place and, when they do, supporting people to manage them as effectively as possible. Prevention is as important at seventy years old as it is at age seven.

It is presented in three chapters:
Chapter one sets out why prevention matters, and the case for change.
Chapter two describes the Government's vision for preventing problems from arising in the first place.
Chapter three sets out the prevention vision for those already living with a health or social care need, and how they can live well for longer.

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November 2018 - Britain’s Unhealthiest High Streets Revealed

The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has published a league table ranking 70 of Britain’s major towns and cities by the impact of their high streets on the public’s health and wellbeing.

The rankings, based on the prevalence of different types of businesses found in the towns’ main retail areas, see Grimsby rated as having the unhealthiest high street, with Edinburgh coming out as the healthiest. This ranking excludes London high streets, which have been ranked separately.

The league table features in the new RSPH report, Health on the High Street: Running on empty, which follows on from the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer of a package of measures designed to reinvigorate the nation’s High Streets. This is a follow up report to the original RSPH Health on the High Street published in 2015 and assesses changes in British retail areas over the past three years.

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November 2018 - ukactive Brings Together Disability Champions to Improve Physical Activity Services Through 'Everyone Can'

ukactive has launched a series of focus groups with disability champions across the retail, transport, music and hospitality sectors, exploring how to improve services for disabled people who want to undertake more physical activity.

The findings from the groups will feed into a new report as part of the recently launched Everyone Can programme led by ukactive, Sport England, and other leading disability organisations.

Among several focus groups will be a session with disability groups Activity Alliance, Alzheimer’s Society, Sport for Confidence, Aspire, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Mind and UK Deaf Sport, helping to establish a clearer picture of the physical activity environment for disabled people today.

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October 2018 - Partnership to Help Dads and Daughters Get Active Together

Women in Sport in partnership with the Fatherhood Institute, Fulham Football club and the EFL Trust has been awarded £118,301 of National Lottery funding from Sport England to help low income families in London get active with their children over the next year. The programme will replicate a programme which was designed by the University of Newcastle, Australia. It will specifically target dads and daughters in the UK.

Parents often see their role as helpers rather than role models in encouraging their children to be active. Research by the University of Newcastle (Australia) found that fathers are less involved with their daughters than mothers, tend to spend less time with daughters than sons and don’t acknowledge their role in fostering their daughters’ physical activity behaviours.

Fulham Football club will deliver weekly 90-minute group sessions combining practical and educational activities. The programme teaches girls sports skills through fun games and physical activities and educates fathers about positive lifestyle role-modelling and parenting strategies.

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October 2018 - New Support Launched for Disabled Adults to Improve Health

Two new resources have been launched to help improve the health of adults with a disability.

The first is a Public Health England evidence review which highlights a need for disabled adults to do more physical activity to improve their health. The second is a new UK Chief Medical Officer (CMO) infographic to make physical activity recommendations more accessible and to support disabled people in getting more active.

While national physical activity guidelines are currently produced for the whole population, the new evidence shows there is no risk for people with a disability undertaking physical activity.

It is recommended that people with a disability build up physical activity, concentrating first on frequency, then duration, before finally raising the intensity level. This is especially significant for those that are not active at all and those with other existing health conditions.

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October 2018 - Reducing Sitting Time Boosts Office Staff’s Work Engagement and Wellbeing

Office workers are being urged to ‘stand up for their health’ – with Loughborough and Leicester researchers claiming desk-bound staff need to be more active at work.

It is widely known that sitting down for long periods of time, even for those who do some exercise regularly, can lead to poor health. Teams from the University of Leicester and Loughborough University wanted to investigate simple solutions to reducing sitting time in the office.

The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), found that giving height-adjustable workstations to staff, alongside a brief education seminar, posters and providing feedback on sitting behaviour (i.e., the SMArT Work programme), reduced sitting time and increased standing whilst at work, which resulted in lots of work and wellbeing benefits.

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October 2018 - Children Who Spend More than Half an Hour Online Twice as Likely to Pester for Junk Food

Young children who spent more than half an hour a day online were almost twice as likely to pester their parents for junk food, according to a Cancer Research UK report. And primary school children who spent more than three hours on the web were more than four times more likely to spend their pocket money on chocolate, crisps, sugary drinks and takeaways than their peers who browsed for less than half an hour.

These children were also 79% more likely to be overweight or obese while those who were online between 30 minutes and three hours a day were 53% more likely to be carrying excess weight than those who were online for less. Obese children are five times more likely to remain obese into adulthood and being overweight or obese as an adult increases the risk of 13 different types of cancer.

Researchers found that, on average, children were online for 16 hours a week – not including time spent for homework – and watched 22 hours of television per week. The amount of exercise done by the children had no impact on the results, showing that for this research, excess weight wasn’t linked with being sedentary.

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October 2018 - Child Health in England Falling Behind Other European Countries

A new report, published by The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), warns that child health in England is lagging behind other European countries, with child mortality potentially 140% higher than other comparable nations by 2030 and reported mental health problems set to increase by 60%.

Amongst the report’s key findings are:

  • Mortality rates may be 140% higher for infants in England than in comparable wealthy nations by 2030
  • Reported mental health problems are set to increase by 60%, based on current trends
  • 1 in 3 of the most deprived boys in England will be obese by 2030 without urgent implementation of the Childhood Obesity Plan and additional measures
  • A&E attendances for children may increase by 50% and outpatient attendances by 48%.

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October 2018 - New Physical Activity Resource for Health Professionals

A new digital Moving Medicine tool is designed to help healthcare professionals advise patients on how physical activity can help to manage their conditions, prevent disease and aid recovery.

It is produced by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine in partnership with Public Health England and Sport England with support from National Lottery funding.

Evidence shows that one in four patients would be more active if advised by a GP or nurse, yet nearly three quarters of GPs do not speak about the benefits of physical activity to patients due to either lack of knowledge, skills or confidence. The tool focuses on helping to address the most common long term health conditions affecting the population, such as cancer, depression, musculoskeletal pain and type 2 diabetes.

Developed in consultation with over 300 healthcare professionals and patients and using evidence-based step-by-step guidance, Moving Medicine is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the latest evidence to address this knowledge and skills gap in the NHS and support healthier outcomes for patients as a result.

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October 2018 - New WHO Progress Report Reveals That Levels of Physical Activity are Stalling

Three years after European Member States committed to implementing the Physical activity strategy for the WHO European Region 2016–2025, an assessment of progress reveals that levels of physical activity are stalling.

One of the nine global targets outlined in the report is a 10% relative reduction in the prevalence of insufficient physical activity by 2025. However, the report describes a worrying reality in which levels of physical activity are stagnant.

To increase physical activity in the region, the report prioritises five areas for improvement:
1) focusing on children and adolescents
2) promoting physical activity in the workplace and through the health-care system
3) providing leadership and coordination for the promotion of physical activity
4) engaging the older population
5) supporting action through surveillance, evaluation and research.

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