Better Health - let's do this Oxfordshire!

Oxfordshire residents are being reminded of the importance of staying fit and healthy in fighting diseases such as COVID-19, and more, in a new campaign from Public Health England.

Anxiety about COVID-19 and the impacts of lockdown have made it harder to stay healthy for around half the population. 36% say they are comfort eating because of anxiety or boredom. Smokers are more likely to be increasing how much they smoke to self-medicate anxiety, stress, and boredom.

For other people during lockdown, this has provided an opportunity to live differently and develop good lifestyle habits that they want to keep up.

The new campaign will connect residents with a range of choices to help make simple but effective changes to their lifestyle to benefit their long-term health, and subsequently put them in better stead to fight COVID-19, and other diseases.

Initially, the campaign will be focusing on healthy weight, with tips and support available to help residents to increase their physical activity and improve their diets.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Ansaf Azhar, said: “As we see the easing of lockdown it is important that we all continue to be alert and take steps to stay safe. It’s also crucial that we are all the healthiest that we can be to protect ourselves. COVID-19 has prompted reflection on what really matters: family, friends and health.

“This campaign seeks to help us all to make changes to our lifestyles that will be good for our long-term health, and help us to be at our fittest to fight the threat of COVID-19 and other diseases.”

Emma Hagues, Health Improvement Practitioner at Oxford University Hospitals’ Here for Health team, said: “Keeping ourselves fit and well is a really important part of managing illness.

“It’s never been more important to look after our physical wellbeing. We can understand how people might make certain choices around food, alcohol, or smoking when under stress – but by addressing these habits and making positive change, you can improve your ability to tackle illnesses as well as improve your overall health.”

Dr Kiren Collison, GP and Clinical Chair at Oxfordshire CCG, said: “There is no time like the present to take some steps to look after yourself, both mentally and physically. Fresh air and exercise are good ways to relax and have fun as well as to help prevent illness. But if you do need medical help, we will of course always be here for you."

More information

Support to help residents achieve better health across Oxfordshire:

Achieve Healthy Weight Loss Oxfordshire – free access to a range of weight loss programmes delivered locally, including; Lose Weight with Achieve Oxfordshire, Slimming World, Weight Watchers and The Other Room (virtual gym) with daily live classes. Sign up here.

Go Active- physical activity that everybody can take part in across Oxfordshire, find an activity here. Including GO Active Get Healthy with diabetes, more information here.

Live Well Oxfordshire - information about groups and organizations offering services for adults to keep fit and well. Search here.

Here for Health – Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

With the right approach building healthy habits and creating positive change can be easier than you think. The Here for Health team provides free support to help you create a personalised health and wellbeing plan with a focus on what matters most to you. Support is available across a range of lifestyle topics and includes access to a variety of resources and links with community services. Please visit the OUH Here for Health website for more information.