As public health nurses working with children, young people and families we know being active improves physical, emotional and social wellbeing and often talk about the benefits of being active and the need to improve physical activity. We aim to signpost professionals to new guidance and to resources, for example CMO guidance and Change4Life
The 456 model and #allourhealth really emphasise the value of physical activity and how professionals can influence children, young people and families at an individual, community and population level to become more active.
We have also worked with young people to create physical activity champions using digital badges and social media platforms – using fun ideas and the power of peer-led support to bring about behaviour and lifestyle changes.
As nurses and midwives do we take on board the messages to improve our own health and wellbeing? How active are we during our working day? With such busy lifestyles do we settle for the sofa or take that walk? We know exercise can help in terms of a healthy weight and improving our cardiovascular function but being ‘active’ is also about the wider wellbeing benefits including building resilience, supporting a work life balance and improving the quality of sleep! Perhaps we need to learn from the messages we give to children and families and build these into our daily routine.
In August #wecommunities have set us all a month long challenge to become more active #WeActiveChallenge – this can take any guise and part of the fun is seeing the range of activities, including running, yoga, trampolining, cycling, circuit training, dog walking to hoop training! Members of the Nursing Directorate at PHE are all getting active and hope you will join in. It’s a great opportunity to connect, share your interests, involve your team, your kids and friends. There are so many opportunities to be active within our communities, both during our working day and at home.
And if you have that inner competiveness bubbling inside - you can ensure this year nurses give all other professions a ‘run for their money’ by flying the #nursesactive flag!
Wendy Nicholson, Lead Nurse for Children, Young People and Families, Public Health England