The genuine and selfless promotion of public health is a cornerstone of the reputation of any healthcare profession. For osteopathy, demonstrating our value in delivering public health advice is a vital step on our path to chartered status. It also importantly helps us to raise the profile of the profession within the healthcare sector and with the wider public.
Public Health England’s (PHE) One You is a national campaign that seeks to encourage adults to make positive changes to their everyday behaviours that could see them avoid many of the diseases caused by modern day lifestyles. It is estimated that habits – such as poor diet, excessive alcohol, smoking and a lack of activity – are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England, and costs the NHS more than £11 billion a year.
The One You campaign provides positive lifestyle messages on areas such as smoking cessation, eating, drinking, sleeping and moving.
As a profession that focuses on creating an environment for supporting the health of our patients, the One You campaign, with its focus on positive messages for overall optimal health, is a campaign that aligns well with our own osteopathic principles.
Osteopaths are ideally placed to provide the health advice and guidance to aid people to make the changes proposed by the One You campaign, and it demonstrates that there is far more to osteopathic practice than just treating backs.
The Institute of Osteopathy is focusing on the campaign’s ‘Move More’ message which encourages small lifestyle changes to increase activity. It also includes the ‘Couch to 5K’ challenge which is an app to get people from their sofa’s to running in nine weeks.
We are promoting this message in our practice – providing our expert advice and guidance to patients who want to change their habits for the better.
Why we support physical activity?
There is no question of the importance of physical activity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends physical activity for improving and staying healthy, with its guidelines recommending both aerobic (minimum 150 minutes per week) and strengthening exercises (two or more days a week). Detailed guidance is available here.
The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), of which the Institute of Osteopathy is a member, have also recently issued a policy to support their lobbying of government that emphasises the importance of physical activity: “Physical activity must be at the core of any public health approach to musculoskeletal health. Remaining active is one of the best things anyone can do for their musculoskeletal health.”
As osteopaths, we know the importance of movement. We use and advise exercise as part of daily practice, so there is a natural synergy for us to encourage all patients to move more, as part of improving their overall health.
How we are getting involved
Many people are thinking about how to get fit and healthy so now is a great time to have a conversation with our patients about their lifestyle and provide them with the support they need to improve their health.
- We are promoting ‘One You’ in our clinic – the posters (encouraging your patients to move more and try the four week challenge) and social media banners are in our clinic, on our website and social media
- We will be Sign-posting our patients to the ‘One You’ website www.nhs.uk/oneyou/moving
- Couch to 5K app – We are encouraging our patients to download the app and supporting them as they take up the challenge. The link to download the app is here. There is also a poster in our practice advertising the Couch to 5k in PDF and JPEG format.
We would like to provide you with reputable and researched health education and advice on your lifestyles and how we may be able to support this decision. If you need any help, please chat to one of the osteopaths at HealthHub Clinics.