Funded by the NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment Programme and launched this month, `Booster´ is a new project which aims to promote fitness and help Sheffield residents get up and about by using a free interactive DVD which provides tailored physical activity advice.
Over the coming months, the project team, which includes clinicians, exercise scientists and researchers, will be writing to people aged 40-64 across the city offering them a copy of the DVD. However, instead of working like an exercise regime, the DVD focuses on how to make active choices and changes, featuring real local people, local opportunities and facilities around Sheffield. Produced exclusively for this project by exercise scientists at Sheffield Hallam University, it uses techniques proven to help people change behaviour and become more active and offers a choice of different types of advice and information to suit people whatever their current activity level.
The DVD, which will only be available by returning the postage paid reply card included with the invite letter, will also be accompanied by information about opportunities to be active in the local community.
The team are hoping that the project, which has already been piloted amongst residents of High Green in north Sheffield, will help residents beat the bulge and improve their general health and fitness in the New Year. Academics at the University of Sheffield, will then hope to study the effectiveness of it for a future research project.
Dr Daniel Hind, Research Fellow and Clinical Trial Manager at the Clinical Trials Research Unit in the University of Sheffield´s School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), said: “Getting and staying active can be difficult. The interactive DVD helps people think through how to get physically active given their own particular circumstances.
“Seeing real people making lifestyle changes makes the whole process seem more achievable. In High Green, where we’ve done some pilot work, the response has been good. About half of those who requested the DVD successfully increased their physical activity after three months.”
Dr Rob Copeland, Senior Sport and Exercise Science Officer at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Adults who increase their physical activity can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce future health risks.
“However, getting and staying active can be difficult. The interactive DVD helps people think through how to get physically active given their own particular circumstances.”
Cllr Sylvia Dunkley, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism from Sheffield City Council said: “We´re really encouraged by the early success of this pilot in helping people to make simple changes to their lifestyles that mean they´re more active. If we can help more people in Sheffield be more active, benefiting their health, that´s good news for everyone. Adding life to your years, can add years to your life!”
Dawn Lockley, Physical Activity lead for NHS Sheffield, said: “It is essential that we encourage as many people as possible to make the important life change of becoming more physically active. The benefits to health and well-being, as well as the social and environmental benefits, are now well recognised.
“Adults are recommended to undertake a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity on 5 days of the week. This can be best achieved by building activity into your day to day activity for example use stairs rather than lifts, get off the bus a stop early, think before you drive and walk the shorter distances. The DVD helps to identify how small changes can be made.”
Notes for Editors: HTA Funding Acknowledgement: This project was funded by the NHS R&D Health Technology Assessment Programme (HTA Project 07/25/02).
Department of Health Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Health.
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