Together an Active Future: scaling up a programme that gets more people moving.

Most of us are instinctively aware of the link between how we feel physically and how we feel mentally. From a public health perspective, the relationship between physical and mental health – and the importance of tackling both – is becoming better understood all the time.

The Eden Stanley team has spent the past year or so understanding public attitudes towards mental health, working with two of the UK’s leading mental health charities, Mind and the Campaign Against Living Miserably We’re now starting a new project that looks at people’s physical activity. The two are linked: according to our client Mind, numerous studies show that increasing physical activity, even a little, can improve mental health.

But there’s also a relationship between people’s physical activity levels and their overall life outcomes. Studies show physically active people are more likely to have higher levels of academic achievement and better job prospects. According to Sport England, regular physical activity has been linked to increased social connections and higher levels of community engagement.

The reasons behind physical inactivity are complex, and potentially hard to address. With around one in five of us not meeting the recommended levels of physical activity we need to keep us healthy, it’s no surprise that physical inactivity is a big area of public health concern.

Our client Together an Active Future (TaAF) operates one of 12 Sport England local delivery pilots aimed at combating physical inactivity; or in the words of TaAF: helping people move from Nothing to Something and Something to More.

For the past few years, they’ve been developing an approach to partnership working that ensures encouraging physical activity is at the heart of community, health and wellbeing initiatives across Pennine Lancashire. Now TaAF wants to expand its reach, challenging more organisations to dismantle the systemic barriers that get in the way, and get many more people get moving.

Our approach to insight-based strategic communications is the perfect fit with TaAF’s shift to the ‘accelerator’ phase of its pilot programme, as they reach out to more potential partners beyond Pennine Lancashire and across the UK.

We’re looking forward to helping the TaAF team work out how best to position and promote their approaches to engage these new audiences.

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