A new initiative supporting people to be more physically active and, as a result, healthier begins in north Kent next month.
The pilot programme ‘Let’s Get Moving’ has the potential to reach more than 2000 residents, all of whom will be offered personalised support to become more active.
Kent County Council has partnered not-for-profit health body ukactive to deliver this pilot with a view to rolling the service out across the county, dependent on the findings of the University of Kent which will conduct an independent evaluation.
This announcement follows Health Select Committee calls to establish physical activity as a top-tier public health priority and reposition local authority funding towards projects that aim to create a more active society.
Let’s Get Moving focuses exclusively on people who are physically inactive and supports them to become healthier, with the added benefit of delivering time and cost savings to existing health services.
Participants meet one-to-one with a locally recruited community exercise professional, trained in motivational interviewing, within their GP surgery for up to 12 weeks.
From signposting to community activities, to peer-led group sessions, participants are able to access all of the support and resources they may need to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Kent County Council’s Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “It’s extremely worrying that physical activity levels in Kent are steadily declining over time, yet we know maintaining levels of physical activity can help prevent the onset of some long term conditions such as, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease and dementia.
“Regularly undertaking physical activity positively impacts on existing long term conditions such as arthritis and mental health. We are pleased to support initiatives like ‘Let’s Get Moving’, working with partners to tackle this growing issue.”
Developed by ukactive over the past four years with the support of a range of partners including Sport England, the programme is already running in Birmingham, Luton, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Essex.
Twenty-three GP surgeries have already hosted the service and more than 20,000 people reached to date. In recognition of its potential to be scaled up nationwide, the programme has received further funding for its extension from leading social innovation charity Nesta, who are also supporting the programmes expansion.
Steven Ward, Executive Director, ukactive said: “Getting our country more active is our main priority, something we have been working towards with all our partners for many years.
“Kent County Council has a mutual objective in wanting to promote and deliver physical activity opportunities to the least active to help treat, prevent or manage twenty different lifestyle conditions and Let’s Get Moving is the ideal program to deliver this.”
Delivering LGM in GP surgeries yields unprecedented results with participants, proactively recruited, becoming 77% more active.