New app aims to tackle obesity among nurses

Tool helps nurses to set realistic goals for a healthy lifestyle

An app has been launched to help nurses achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The Nursing You resource helps nurses to set realistic goals, and includes well-being assessments, tools to track sleep and exercise, and healthy recipes.

The app was developed as part of the Healthy Weight Initiative for Nurses (WiN), which ran from 2015 to 2017 and worked with nurses to co-design interventions to help them manage their weight.

Research from the initiative found that one in four nurses in England are obese; the findings were published in the BMJ Open online journal in 2017.

Charity C3 Collaborating for Health, which ran the WiN project in collaboration with other organisations including the RCN, has worked with global health and employment services provider Maximus to launch the app.

Users of the Nursing You app are asked a series of multiple choice questions on subjects such as eating breakfast and choice of snacks. The resource suggests a possible change of routine, which the nurse can either accept or reject.

‘An app designed by nurses, for nurses’

C3 nursing associate Michaela Nuttall said: ‘We are delighted to respond to popular demand that nurses wanted an app that was designed by nurses, for nurses. We want nurses everywhere to engage with and use Nursing You, along with sharing their experiences and celebrating successes throughout 2018.’

RCN senior employment relations officer Kim Sunley said: 'Obesity is a major public health issue, and due to long hours, shift work and stress, we know some nurses struggle to make healthy choices.

'The RCN has worked with C3, and other stakeholders, to develop the Nursing You resource, which is designed to help nurses recognise triggers for unhealthy decisions, and make better food choices.

'The app is the latest addition to the RCN’s Healthy Workplace, Healthy You initiative, which aims to promote self-care and improve nurses’ health by working with employers to improve working conditions.'

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