National lifestyle campaign launched to combat ill health in older age

Posted on: 15 March 2016

Devon is getting behind a national campaign aimed to help adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by our lifestyles.

One You is a campaign being run by Public Health England, to tackle unhealthy behaviours such as poor diet, drinking too much alcohol, smoking and not taking enough exercise.

The campaign provides a practical way for adults reappraise their lifestyle in the form of a new online health quiz called ‘How Are You?’. The free quiz indicates which areas people should look to change and provides encouragement and tools to help them do so. The quiz will then provide a personalised package of information and guidance on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and access to easy to use apps.

In Devon, the County Council is working with district councils, and private and voluntary sector organisations to provide local activities, opportunities and support that will enable them to get healthier, including a new campaign due to be launched in Exeter later this month.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our busy lives often mean our own health is at the bottom of our list of priorities. But we all need to remember that it’s important to take time to look after ourselves, for our own benefit and that of our families.”

“Making big changes to our lifestyles can seem too difficult to sustain, but there are lots of ways we can make small changes that fit in with our everyday lives and can help us, and our families, live well for longer. This could simply mean reducing our portion sizes, walking rather than driving to work, or cutting down on our weekly alcohol intake.”

Cllr Davis has herself taken the How Are You? Quiz, and was surprised to see the results.

“I scored seven out of 10 in the quiz,” she said. “I’m suffering from mobility problems at the moment so I’m not nearly as active as I usually am. I’ve adjusted my diet to reflect my current lack of exercise, but the quiz has shown me that there are still ways I can improve my lifestyle.

“I’m planning to do more strengthening exercises, and to try and eat more regular balanced meals rather than snacking on the run. The quiz was really useful in highlighting the way my health looks right now, rather than how I think it should look.”

As part of its commitment to the campaign, Devon County Council is encouraging its staff to take the health quiz and is tracking the progress of some members of staff who have pledged to change their lifestyles through the campaign.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon Director of Public Health, said: “This new campaign from Public Health England to encourage healthy lifestyle habits in middle age is one that we wholeheartedly endorse in Devon.”

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing