Adolescent obesity

The World Health Organisation European Office has published Adolescent obesity and related behaviours: trends and inequalities in the WHO European Region, 2002–2014.

The report presents the latest trends in obesity, eating behaviours, physical activity and sedentary behaviour from the health behaviour in school-aged children (HBSC) study, and highlights gender and socioeconomic inequalities across the WHO European Region.

Childhood obesity is considered one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Obese children are at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, sleep difficulties, musculoskeletal problems and future cardiovascular disease, as well as school absence, psychological problems and social isolation.

The report argues that policy initiatives and interventions need to target high-risk adolescents within the context of families, schools and wider communities, and suggests policies that improve young people’s access to healthy diets should be a priority. It also recommends built environments be improved so that physical activity is re-established as an integral part of daily living.

Additional link: WHO press release

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Physical Inactivity

Report from The British Heart Foundation (BHF) suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are still failing to meet recommendations for physical activity, putting them at greater risk of heart and circulatory disease.

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The British Heart Foundation has published Physical Inactivity Report 2017. This report provides an overview of the levels of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in adults across the UK.

The Government recommends that adults undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and strength activities on at least two days a week . It is also recommended that adults minimise their levels of sedentary behaviour.
The data in this report suggests that large numbers of people in the UK are failing to meet these recommendations for physical activity.

The statistics also show that levels of sedentary behaviour in the UK remain high. This is of particular concern as evidence is growing which shows that sedentary behaviour  – time in which energy expenditure is very low – is an independent risk factor to physical inactivity.

The impact of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles also weighs heavily on UK healthcare, estimated to cost as much as £1.2 billion a year.

The report suggests that making physical activity easier and more accessible for all is of paramount importance if we are to reduce the burden of inactivity-related ill health and improve the future cardiovascular health of our population.

Read the full report: Physical Inactivity and Sedentary Behaviour Report 2017

Getting active for better musculoskeletal health

Musculoskeletal conditions affect over 10 million people and are the leading cause of disability in England | Public Health England

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For many years there has been a perception that arthritis and back pain are unavoidable and part of the ageing process and the focus has been on conventional treatments to alleviate pain and discomfort.

However, increasingly we are seeing that unhealthy lifestyles contribute to the cause of musculoskeletal conditions, and an ageing population, rising obesity rates and reduced level of physical activity will only increase the prevalence of these conditions, and result in rising costs to the health and social care system.

We need to change how we view musculoskeletal conditions with a focus on prevention, early detection and treatment using the life course whole systems approach.

A new report from the Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England and Arthritis Research UK highlights the outcomes of programmes that offer physical activity interventions for musculoskeletal conditions that are effective across care pathways, cost effective and provide long term health benefits for individuals across the life course.

Read the full over view here

Read the full report here

Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions

Arthritis UK launch new report, Providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions

The report has been produced in partnership with the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England and is also endorsed by the Royal College of Practitioners, Local Government Association and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. It is intended for organisations responsible for commissioning and providing local services, as well as musculoskeletal and physical activity organisations who may find it of interest.

The report highlights the importance of providing physical activity interventions for people with musculoskeletal conditions and details the resources that local authorities and commissioners can use to enable and support people with musculoskeletal conditions to be physically active.

 

Physical activity is a key part of a public health approach to musculoskeletal conditions and it has a range of benefits for people with musculoskeletal conditions in terms of improving quality of life and supporting people to be independent. It can reduce joint and back pain by 25% while also improving sleep, managing stress and reducing depression, anxiety and dementia.

Download the full report here

Physical activity on prescription schemes (PARS)

Arsenijevic, J. & Groot, W. (2017) 

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Background: Physical activity on prescription schemes (PARS) are health promotion programmes that have been implemented in various countries. The aim of this study was to outline the differences in the design of PARS in different countries. This study also explored the differences in the adherence rate to PARS and the self-reported level of physical activity between PARS users in different countries.

Conclusions: The effects of PARS on adherence and self-reported physical activity were influenced by programme characteristics and also by the design of the study. Future studies on the effectiveness of PARS should use a prospective longitudinal design and combine quantitative and qualitative data. Furthermore, future evaluation studies should distinguish between evaluating the adherence rate and the self-reported physical activity among participants with different chronic diseases.

Read the full article here

Physically active children are less depressed

Zahl, T. et al. (2017) Pediatrics. 139(2) e20161711

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Objective: The prospective relation between physical activity and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-defined major depression in middle childhood is unknown, as is the stability of depression. We therefore aimed to (1) determine whether there are reciprocal relations between moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary behavior, on one hand, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition defined symptoms of major depressive disorder, on the other and (2) assess the extent of stability in depressive symptoms from age 6 to 10 years.

Conclusions: MVPA predicts fewer symptoms of major depression in middle childhood, and increasing MVPA may serve as a complementary method to prevent and treat childhood depression.

Read the full article here

Engaging stakeholders and target groups in prioritising a public health intervention

Morton, K.L. et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e013340

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Objectives: Stakeholder engagement and public involvement are considered as integral to developing effective public health interventions and is encouraged across all phases of the research cycle. However, limited guidelines and appropriate tools exist to facilitate stakeholder engagement—especially during the intervention prioritisation phase. We present the findings of an online ‘Delphi’ study that engaged stakeholders (including young people) in the process of prioritising secondary school environment-focused interventions that aim to increase physical activity.

Conclusions: This novel approach to engaging a wide variety of stakeholders in the research process was feasible to conduct and acceptable to participants. It also provided insightful information relating to how stakeholders prioritise interventions. The approach could be extended beyond the specific project to be a useful tool for researchers and practitioners.

Read the full abstract and article here