We’re supporting Public Health England’s Better Health campaign that’s aimed at using this time of change to help people across the country reset and improve their health.
For many, the past few months have been a wake-up call. Coronavirus (Covid-19) has affected the whole country and, for almost everyone, life’s had to fundamentally change.
It’s also prompted many to think more seriously about their health, and people have been surprised by how lockdown has allowed them to make sustained changes to their lives.
Given the link between the impact of coronavirus and levels of obesity across the UK, Better Health has initially been focused on encouraging people to lose and manage their weight.
But, building on our existing work to increase activity levels across the nation, we’ve also been collaborating with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure physical activity features prominently in their campaign – encouraging those who’ve already made positive changes to persist with them, and helping others to do the same.
We shouldn’t underestimate the scale of the challenge
We know from our work in tracking activity levels during lockdown that coronavirus has massively disrupted people's ability to exercise.
And while adult activity levels have broadly held up in recent months, with many finding new ways to stay fit, as society has reopened there’s been a dip in numbers.
The latest figures show just 27% of adults are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s recommended 30 minutes of activity on five or more days a week.
But we’re used to building strong partnerships with PHE and the NHS, as shown by our Moving Healthcare Professionals programme that helped physical activity to be embedded in their clinical approach.
We’ve also worked with PHE and Disney on the Change4Life 10 Minute Shake Up, and with NHS England and the National Academy for Social Prescribing to make high-quality physical activity advice a part of all social prescribing schemes.
of people say they want to walk post-lockdown
These schemes demonstrate how we’re trying to embed physical activity into the lives of people who stand to benefit most, and it’s an approach we believe can complement the government’s plans to tackle obesity.
As part of our support we’re working with partners – including Active Partnerships – to ensure specific messaging and interventions reach their target audience.
We’re also doing this by further funding projects such as a partnership with London Sport to promote the Couch to 5K app to groups that’ve been disproportionately affected by coronavirus – such as BAME and lower socio-economic communities.
We’re also partnering with Our Parks, a London 2012 legacy initiative, on their free, on-demand, bodyweight-based Couch to Fitness programme that launches next week.
And we’ll continue to provide the campaign with insight from our regular activity level tracking surveys, as well as working with the government as it seeks to boost active travel with its £2 billion investment.