Living healthily in midlife can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and beyond.
Today marks the launch of ‘One You’, a ground-breaking new campaign to help adults across the country avoid future diseases caused by modern day life.
Everyday habits and behaviours, such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more 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’ aims to encourage adults, particular those in middle age, to take control of their health to enjoy significant benefits now, and in later life.
Professor Sir Muir Gray, clinical adviser for the One You campaign said:
Many diseases that impact people’s health and shorten their active lives can be prevented. Currently 42% of adults in midlife are living with at least one long-term health condition which increase their risk of early death and disability.
Although it has been customary to blame people for their ‘lifestyle’ we now appreciate that we need to take into account the environmental pressures that make it difficult to make healthy choices, having to sit 8 hours a day at work for example, and then drive an hour home. One You is designed to help every individual identify not only their risks but also the pressures they face in their life and the stress that results, and then support them with personalised tools and advice.
Latest figures show that life expectancy at older ages is at record levels, yet many are spending their retirement living in ill health. Currently 15 million Britons are living with a long-term health condition, yet studies show living healthily in middle age can double your chances of being healthy when you are 70.
The new campaign from Public Health England will help adults to move more, eat well, drink less and be smoke free. One You will also provide information on how people can reduce their stress levels and sleep better.
Modern day life makes it hard for people to live healthily, with bigger portions for everything we eat, a desk-bound job or a long commute. One You gives people the chance to reappraise their lifestyle choices, put themselves first and do something about their own health before it’s too late.
It will encourage adults to start by taking a new online health quiz called ‘How Are You’. This innovative quiz provides personalised recommendations based on your results and directs people to tools and advice to help them take action where it’s most needed. Over half (56%) of 40 to 60 year olds taking the ‘How Are You’ quiz said they were likely to change their lifestyle to improve their health because of the feedback it gave them.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer said:
“It is important people of all ages feel able to prioritise their health so they can lead long and healthy lives.
“We all have the power to shape our future health by making simple and small changes now. One You campaign acknowledges that this can be difficult and is there to help make these changes easier.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, National Director, Public Health England said:
“For the first time, Public Health England is launching a campaign that talks to adults directly about all of the things they can do to improve their health. The scale of the campaign is unprecendented and includes new public and commercial partnerships with Asda, Slimming World, BBC Get Inspired and the Ministry of Defence.
“This will see One You in every community, on every high street, in local health services, on websites and in social media. We want everyone across the country to know that it is never too late to get your health back on track.”