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Pilot scheme aims to make Lichfield residents more active

Lichfield residents are being encouraged to get more physically active after the city was chosen as a pilot area for a new national programme.

The Let’s Get Moving project is aimed at inactive adults aged between 16 and 74 years old and is part of the local Lifestyle Service which helps people to feel healthier by improving their lifestyles.

People can access the Lifestyle Service directly to benefit from one-to-one advice and guidance from an advisor who will motivate and support them.  Thy will discuss the benefits increased physical activity can bring, work through barriers facing individuals, set goals to work towards and advise people about services and opportunities in the local area.

In addition, three GP surgeries are taking part in the pilot by offering patients a Physical Activity Questionnaire to complete whilst waiting for their appointment.

Individuals are then being given the opportunity to be contacted by South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) Lifestyle Service Team and book an appointment to discuss any changes they wish to make to increase their amount of physical exercise or to address other areas of their lifestyle that they would like to improve.

Janis Allso

Janis Allso

Janis Allso, from Lichfield, is one of those to use the Service. She said:

“It is fantastic and I have nothing but praise for my advisor who has inspired and encouraged me all the way. When I made my appointment to be assessed I thought it would be with someone who was patronising and ‘finger wagging’ – telling me what I was doing wrong.  But, it wasn’t like that at all.

“The confidential one-to-one sessions made me more self aware of not only what I ate and drank but also the lack of exercise in my life and the changes I needed to make.”

Describing herself as being “allergic to exercise” Janis soon increased her levels of physical activity by walking on a regular basis and is really enjoying life to the full.

She has lost a little weight by making small changes to her lifestyle but  feels much fitter and healthier due to an increase in exercise.

Pauline Evans, Lifestyle Service Manager, said:

“People are leading busier lives, which means it can be harder to find the time to exercise, think about what they’re eating or feel it isn’t worth the effort to stop smoking or reduce their alcohol intake.

“All of these things can lead to life threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease which is why we are urging people to access the free one-to-one personal and confidential service that will motivate and support them to make changes for the better.

“Our Lifestyle Service Advisors will not only provide support to help people make changes to improve how they feel and lead a healthier life, but will also encourage people throughout the process – to help them look and feel better, have more energy, reduce their stress levels and put them in control of their lives.”

To find out more about the Lifestyle Service call 01827 306190 or visit your GP and ask for a referral to a Lifestyle Advisor.

The Let’s Get Moving pilot will be evaluated by the University of Gloucestershire and will influence the roll out of similar projects in the future in rural areas.

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