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Feb 04 2014

Harrow Council: Health Report Spurs New Challenge

harrow_council_logoHealth report spurs new challenge

  • New challenge calls on residents to ‘get active’
  • Support provided for residents and online motivational blog launched
  • Launch event on Monday, 17 February

Residents are being given a challenge this year to become more active and reap the rewards following the publication of the first annual public health report for Harrow and Barnet.

Research shows that just over 1 in 3 adults in Harrow were physically active during 2011/12* and Harrow and Barnet’s Joint Director of Public Health, Dr Andrew Howe has made improving this his first health priority which is why this report focused on physical activity.

Dr Howe’s report looks at the data on physical activity from childhood to older adulthood and in specific groups in the community. It also looks at the importance of physical activity and what works best when it comes to getting each of these groups more active. Being able to be active at a time and place that is convenient for you makes it more likely that you will stick to it. The council are encouraging this with the outdoor gym and activator programme. When the activators started, the number of people using the outdoor gyms in Byron and Harrow recreation grounds increased by 21% between June and September 2013.

Dr Andrew Howe said: “In a move that I hope will inspire and motivate our residents I have put forward a challenge to residents. The challenge encourages the people of Harrow and Barnet to see what they can do to become more physically active or help family, friends or others in the community to do so. We will support them all the way with advice, tips and information.”

For those wanting to take up the challenge, the Public Health team will be offering advice on increasing or improving physical activity for all levels and abilities through a new challenge blog and on the council’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Residents can use the hashtag #dphchallengeharrow so their stories can be found on social media sites.

In May, the team will shortlist all entries and showcase three of the most inspiring stories each of which will be awarded a prize.

Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Simon Williams said: “Thanks to this new report we now have the data and evidence to target groups and individuals within our community and help them get more active. This joint health report and the challenge to the borough will give us all the push we need to get healthier for 2014.”

Residents are invited to attend the Annual Public Health Report launch event on Monday, 17 February at Harrow Council from 10:30am to 1pm. There will be speeches from Cllr Susan Hall, Cllr Williams and a brief presentation and Q&A session with Dr Andrew Howe. Attendees will also be able to talk with local activity groups and fitness organisations that will be able to support them on their physical activity journey.

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