Campaign launches to encourage people to improve their physical and mental health

In a bid to drive health and happiness, Durham County Council has launching its biggest ever campaign to get people moving to benefit their physical health and mental wellbeing.

Whether people are used to being active or are just starting out, the new Move campaign will encourage residents to move more to feel good.

Following an exceptionally challenging 18 months, many people have reduced their activity negatively impacting their strength, heart health as well as their mood and self-esteem. Research shows that the more you move the better you feel. Even a very small amount of activity can benefit people’s health, reducing the risk of major illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer and lowering the risk of early death by up to 30 per cent.

Launched on National Fitness Day 2021, which took place yesterday, and backed by government funding, the Move campaign will encourage residents to move more through fun, accessible and, above all, easy to access activities so they can enjoy longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.

The county-wide initiative will match the individual needs of residents with the wide range of facilities and services on offer so people can find something they enjoy in their local community, whether that’s going for a swim, taking part in a yoga class or joining a local walking group.

According to the NHS, adults should complete at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week to benefit their health, while children and young people should be active for at least 60 minutes a day.

The Move campaign will make it easier for people to get moving. Specialist advisors will assess individual needs and will signpost people to relevant programmes and activities in their local area.

Cllr Paul Sexton, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, says: “The pandemic has shown how important exercise is for our health and for building our immune system to protect against future infections, but it’s not always easy to get started. Our Move campaign is designed to help people to build activity into their lives by doing something they enjoy and at their own pace. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercise, but with the huge number of activities available in the County, we are confident we have something for everyone, regardless of their age, preferences or ability. It’s never too late to get active and make a difference to your health – even five minutes a day will help – the important thing is to make a start and get moving.”