If you are an adult, The One You Campaign will help inform, energise and engage you to make changes to improve your health across seven key behaviours. Take the ‘How Are You’ online quiz which will assess your health. You will then be directed to online tools and programmes designed to help you make changes in the areas where you need to take action.
Our health system and arguably our culture is geared to treating people when they are ill. The actions that we need more people to take are neither revelatory nor expensive. Moving more, eating well, quitting smoking, drinking less, checking ourselves, sleeping better and stressing less all drive startling improvements in our lives, and it’s never too late to make these changes.
One You is a holistic campaign aimed to help people improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing by taking steps to change their behaviours. We know that diet, exercise, how much you drink and if you smoke can impact on stress and anxiety. Stress is often referred to as the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. Evidence shows that stress is prevalent, can affect anyone and can be caused by lots of things in life such as work, relationships and money worries. When you feel stressed, it can have an effect on how you feel, think, behave and on how your body works – highlighting the dual relationship between looking after our mental health as part of protecting our physical health, and vice versa.
The majority of premature deaths and ageing could be prevented with changes to our lifestyles. Making better choices today can have a huge influence on our health, and could prevent conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and reduce our risk of suffering a stroke or living with dementia, disability and frailty in later life. Many adults believe that a gradual deterioration in physical and mental health is an inevitable sign of ageing and do not realise that in the majority of cases, our health is determined by the way we choose to live our lives.
The One You Campaign helps adults avoid preventable death and future disease caused by lifestyle factors. These are everyday habits and behaviours, such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended, continuing to smoke and not being active enough. The NHS spends more that £11bn a year on treating illnesses caused by the effects of diet, inactivity, smoking and drinking alcohol.
The seven key behaviours are:
- Moving more. Active people live longer and get ill less. Activity is not the same as exercise – One You will encourage walking as much as running.
- Being smoke free. For the 18% of adults7in England who smoke, quitting remains the single biggest thing they can do to improve their health.
- Drinking less. Many adults drink at levels that damage their health in the short and the long-term. People don’t need to stop drinking completely but a little less can make a big difference over time.
- Eating well to lose weight, get in shape or just to live a healthier life. Most adults put on half a kilo a year – not noticeable in the short-term but damaging in the long-term. As well as obesity, poor diet causes a profound number of other harms, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, One You can offer fad-free support that will help people make long-term changes to their diet.
- Checking ourselves. Many people ‘sleepwalk’ gradually into ill health. Taking a small amount of time periodically to monitor our own health is vital. The campaign will signpost to the NHS Health Check programme at appropriate points in the customer journey.
- Stressing less. Many of the One You behaviours profoundly influence mental health and adopting positive behaviours can have deep and immediate benefits.
- Sleeping better. This is one of the most frequent searches by users of the NHS Choices website. Poor sleep is symptomatic of wider stress and in itself a driver of poor health.
More detailed information on the seven key behaviours:
- One You provides lots of tips and recipes whether you’re trying to lose weight, get in shape or just live a healthier life
- Download the free Easy Meals app for over a hundred delicious and simple meal ideas to get you eating foods that are healthier for you
- 5-a-day: Fruit and vegetables are part of a balanced diet and can help us stay healthy. It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day
- Fat: Check the labels when you shop and swap high fat foods for ones that are lower in saturated fat
- Sugar: Cut down by watching out for sugar when you shop and making smart sugar swaps
- Salt: Shop for low-salt or reduced-salt foods, and watch out for salt by checking the labels on everyday items
- To stay healthy it’s recommended you do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week. This can easily be broken down to five sessions of 30 minutes of aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking
- It’s also important to do strength exercises on two days of the week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
- A great way to start is to download the Couch to 5K app now. It has been designed to get you off the couch and running in just nine weeks. Grab your trainers and follow the step-by-step instructions
- Being active is really good for your body, mind and health – and there are lots of easy ways you and your family can get moving
- If you don’t do enough exercise, you increase your risk of getting heart disease and some types of cancer. Getting some exercise each day can also help prevent depression and dementia
- It’s easy to move more and doing something is better than nothing. Start small and build up gradually
- If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your health
- Every cigarette you smoke increases your risk of developing diseases like heart disease, cancer and stroke
- When you stop smoking you’ll see the benefits to your everyday life, health and wallet
- It’s never too late to quit smoking but you don’t have to do it alone. The free Smokefree app can help you stop smoking by providing daily support and motivation
- If you stay smokefree for the 4 week programme you’re up to five times more likely to stay quit for good
Drinking less alcohol
- It’s easy to let drinking sneak up on you and you may be drinking more alcohol than you realise
- Reduce your risks by knowing how much alcohol you are drinking and make sure you don’t drink more than the lower risk guidelines
- Men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. This is the same as 6 pints of average strength beer a week
- Drinking above the lower risk guidelines affects your body in many ways, from gaining weight to reducing the quality of your sleep. More seriously it increases your risk of developing health problems such as high blood pressure, liver problems, heart attack and some types of cancer
- Keep an eye on how much alcohol you are drinking with the free Drinks Tracker app, which makes it easy to take control with daily tips and feedback
- If you’re aged over 40 you can get a free NHS Health Check, which is a great way to check your health and get personalised advice on keeping yourself healthy and active
- As we get older, we have a higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Your free NHS Health Check can spot the early signs of these and help prevent them
- By attending your NHS Health Check and making healthy changes, you’re more likely to live longer and have more quality time with family and friends
- If you’re over 40, and don’t have a pre-existing health condition, your GP or local authority will invite you for your free NHS Health Check
- Lots of things can cause stress, like work, relationships and money problems. Stress can affect how you feel, think, behave and how your body works – from how well you sleep to your immune system. Long-term stress puts your health at risk
- Reducing your stress levels and feeling more in control boosts your mood and means you are more able to cope with life’s ups and downs
- There’s no quick-fix cure for stress, but there are simple things you can do to help you stress less. These include relaxing, exercise, eating a healthy and balanced diet, and talking to someone. You don’t have to suffer alone and a good place to start is to talk to your GP
- Not sleeping well can have a huge effect on your health, putting you at risk of serious medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes – it can even shorten your life expectancy
- Good quality sleep is more important than the amount of sleep that you get and it helps to keep you feeling healthy
- Not enough sleep can take its toll on your mind and can even lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression. Sleeping less can also make you gain weight
- Sleep gives you energy and boosts your immune system, helping your body recover from illnesses
- There are simple things you can do to help you wind down and prepare for bed. Having a regular bedtime routine can help you drift off and if you smoke or drink, those habits might be stopping you from sleeping well.
Visit here to take the quiz.
For more information on the Campaign click here