Nearly a third of Calderdale residents need to shape up and get active, or risk the health consequences.
Thirty per cent of people in the borough are classed as inactive, meaning they do not meet the minimum levels of physical activity of 30 minutes per week.
The research has been carried out by Active Calderdale, an initiative set up following Calderdale Council’s successful bid to become one of only 12 local authorities to receive Sport England funding to get people more physically active.
Calderdale’s Director of Public Health, Paul Butcher, and Programme Manager for the Active Calderdale local delivery pilot scheme, Richard Croker, told the Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board that local communities had to help engage people with it.
At the meeting, Coun Colin Hutchinson (Lab, Skircoat) said one of the things that should be encouraged is developing exercise habits as early as possible which meant involving schools. Hospital staff could also be good role models.
Mr Butcher said people who knew their patch were being used and around 30 schools were involved with Active Calderdale.
In 2016/17, there were 2,697 admissions to the NHS due to obesity in Calderdale, while in 2017, 2,022 prescriptions were handed out by the NHS in Calderdale for the treatment of obesity.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Inequalities, Coun Faisal Shoukat, said: “Active Calderdale is the strategy to enable Calderdale to become the most active borough in the north of England by 2024. To do this, we’re looking at different ways to motivate, encourage and support people to be more active.
“In Calderdale, 70% of residents are doing at least 30 minutes of activity on a weekly basis which is great news, however there are 30% of residents who aren’t meeting the recommended minimum levels of physical activity per week.
“We want to encourage and support those people who are doing some activity to continue doing what they are doing, and to encourage and support those that aren’t to start to be more active in a way they choose.
“Active Calderdale aims to introduce new ideas that will look at targeting the wider influences that encourage and support people to be active, such as social encouragement and support, as well as the physical environment.
“As a major boost to the strategy, Calderdale has been chosen by Sport England as one of only 12 pilot areas in the country to trial new approaches to getting inactive people active using a whole system approach. This includes additional resources being invested in Calderdale to help us achieve our vision of becoming the most active borough in the north of England.”
Calderdale care home residents and those in supported living have been getting active thanks to a pilot project called Motivation to Move.
The six week programme of activity helped improve people’s dexterity skills, strength and stamina - along with their mood, all taking part with a smile.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, Coun Susan Press, said: “We know that keeping active is so important to help us stay fit and healthy. This can be more difficult the older and less mobile we get, but with the help of our expert team of trainers, care home staff have learnt important skills to help their residents safely keep moving.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults, Health and Social Care, Coun Bob Metcalfe, said: “This is a wonderful initiative, helping older people to exercise safely and improve their range of movement.
“This project has been a real success story and has had a hugely positive impact on the residents who’ve taken part, many of whom were previously inactive.”
Local sport and physical activity providers are being asked to join the mission to encourage people to move more in Calderdale – and a free event is offering advice on how to get involved.
From sports clubs and gyms to small walking or dance groups, anyone who runs physical activity sessions – or would like to set one up – is invited to an informal get together on Wednesday, 13 February from 6pm to 9pm at the Shay Stadium.
The event is about supporting groups to get more people physically active, as part of the Active Calderdale movement. There will be workshops, a range of networking opportunities and the chance to talk to representatives from Calderdale Council, Yorkshire Sport Foundation and Club Matters.
Workshops will give top tips on recruiting, retaining and rewarding volunteers; finding, reaching and engaging with people taking their first steps into activity; and the funding available to support inactive people to become active.
Coun Susan Press, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhood Services, said: “We want to change the way people think about physical activity and tackle the barriers that prevent people from being more active.
“We know that local clubs and groups play an important part in this, so we encourage them to sign up to the event.”