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Viv Bennett: Vital role for nurses in healthy lifestyles campaign

Nurses have a vital role to play in promoting the latest healthy lifestyles campaign, which stresses that just ten minutes of brisk walking a day can help ward off conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, says chief nurse for Public Health England Viv Bennett.

Nurses have a vital role to play in promoting the latest healthy lifestyles campaign, which stresses that just ten minutes of brisk walking a day can help ward off conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, says chief nurse for Public Health England Viv Bennett.

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The latest element of Public Health England’s 'One You' campaign encourages adults to get more active by incorporating ten minutes of brisk walking into their daily lives, and nurses have an important role to play in its success.

Although 10 minutes walking may not sound like a lot, it can make a huge difference by getting the heart pumping faster, making people feel more energetic and improving mood. It can also prevent health problems in the long term, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

Active app

This latest stage of the campaign, launched at the end of August, features a new ‘Active 10’ app that has been developed to support people to achieve this goal.

As with any public health campaign, nurses have a big role to play in promoting and explaining the benefits to those they care for, and signposting them to further resources and services. 

You can support people to improve their physical activity using the One You resources, or for children the Change4Life activities.

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It is equally important that you as health professionals feel ready and confident to discuss these issues. As part of All Our Health, we have developed a physical activity topic to support you.

August was also #WeActiveChallenge month, in which individuals from a range of professions tweeted about the exercises they were doing while competing for personal medals.

If you weren’t able to take part there is always next year, so start by setting yourself a physical activity challenge now.


Viv Bennett is chief nurse, Public Health England
@VivJBennett 

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