Guest Blogspot: Gail Beer – Making healthy choices

At 2020health we are concerned with examining the impact that  decisions about health  and healthcare  make on society and the economy.  These decisions are not just about the government, policy leaders and health experts, but about the decisions you and I make everyday regarding how we live  our lives. Do we choose to smoke, drink too much alcohol,  eat too much salt, drink enough water, eat five times a day and exercise for 30 minutes?   We are bombarded daily with information about what we should and should not do to stay healthy.  It is difficult enough keeping up with all the advice, let alone trying to implement it in our time-poor, information overloaded society. Is it any wonder that many people are confused?

This morning I went to the launch of the Sainsbury’s Wells Project,  a year long programme that aims to show how community pharmacists can work alongside NHS services  to provide  a resource for advice guidance  and support in making healthy life style choices, like those above.  Ten families, all called Wells, will be encouraged and supported in making healthy choices by their pharmacist.  We at 2020 will be helping in the evaluation of the programme and we are excited about working on a project  that we feel is important given the enormity of the public health agenda and the anticipated impact of  unhealthy decisions on our future finances

Here at 2020health our research often leads us to explore the results of these  poor health decisions,  or we  recommend  to policy makers how to improve  health outcomes.  As a health think tank we thought about our own lifestyles and wondering how well we lived up to those ideas we espouse.   So, the team here have undertaken a programme  to walk the recommended 10,000 steps a day.  Over the next few weeks at the end of each blog a member of the team will reflect on how well they are doing in achieving this goal and review the  highs and lows.  So beginning tomorrow 2020health Pedometer Watch will make its first appearance. Stay tuned!

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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