Launched by Sport England and The Richmond Group in September 2019, We Are Undefeatable aims to inspire, reassure and support people to be active by showing people living with a variety of conditions – both visible and invisible – on their own journeys to being active. We know that the campaign has inspired people across the nation to start moving more, but there is still more to do.
This is especially relevant during the current coronavirus pandemic, which is having a more pronounced effect on the activity levels of those with long term health conditions (LTHCs). During the height of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions, around 4 in 10 people with LTHCs were doing less physical activity than normal, and worry about the pandemic is now one of the most frequently cited barriers to physical activity for people with LTHCs, alongside the top condition-related issues. This isn’t a worry that will ease as lockdown eases, as the majority of people with LTHCs are worried about leaving their homes, even with the loosening of restrictions.
In Greater Manchester (GM) one in five of us, over 500,000 people, are living with at least one long-term illness; including cancer, dementia, diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s, arthritis, stroke and depression. With 43.2% of GM residents with a disability or LTHC being inactive, a higher percentage than the national average, it is clear that we need to more across our city region to enable those with LTHCs to live active lives.
The role of healthcare professionals
It is clear from the campaign evaluation so far, that we need to engage healthcare professionals in the promotion of physical activity to people with LTHCs. To aid with that, We Are Undefeatable has created ‘Information and opportunities for Healthcare Professionals’, compiling a number of ways that Health Care Professionals can upskill themselves to help them have physical activity conversations with patients.
The Royal College of GPs have also shared a case study from a GP surgery in Warwickshire, sharing their top tips to becoming an Active Practice, helping both their patients and their staff to become more active.
Sport England have produced an insight pack focused on people with long term health conditions where they share the most up to date insights on the impact of Covid-19 on their behaviours and attitudes towards physical activity. We have produced a summary of the research here to help you digest the full report. If you would like to read the full insight pack, you can register as a supporter of We Are Undefeatable here.
As part of the campaign so far, there have been a number of specific place-based approaches to activating the campaign. We Are Undefeatable has shared a short summary of each of these approaches, including how they have adapted to Covid-19. As we look to get people with LTHCs moving more in Greater Manchester, these learnings could be valuable reading as you look to implement We Are Undefeatable in your work.
Support for coaches and deliverers
UK Coaching have created a guide for coaches and deliverers of sport and physical activity to help ensure great coaching experiences for everyone, including those with long-term health conditions. There are a number of resources and guides to provide you or your coaching workforce with the reassurance needed to help people with long-term health conditions build a positive relationship with being active.
The Greater Manchester That Counts! campaign aligns with We Are Undefeatable, encouraging people to move more, doing the activity that works for them, whilst acknowledging that some days may be harder than others to get moving, and that’s ok. Visit www.thatcounts.co.uk to find out more, and if you would like to utilise the campaign in your work to help people to move more email us at [email protected].
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