2,800 people who shielded earlier in the year have told us about their health, digital abilities and physical activity during that time. This will help organisations from across Somerset understand how they can work together to better improve the health and wellbeing of people who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 including those living with long term health conditions.
The survey was conducted by Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP) in partnership with Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The aim was to examine the effects of the pandemic on those that were shielding and their ability and motivations to be physically active. This data represents the views of a significant number of people in Somerset who, regardless of Covid-19, must manage their lives with one or more long term health conditions.
The survey found that 1 in 3 people were doing less physical activity than before Covid-19 and that activity levels decreased amongst people with two or more long term health conditions. It also found that those people living on their own and with poor digital access or skills were less likely to be physically active and had less opportunity and confidence to take part.
However, the data does far more than just examine physical activity for those shielding under lockdown. It also provides a deeper understanding of the barriers and challenges that people living with long term health conditions are facing; their motivations to be active and their ability and confidence to access physical activity and other services through the internet.
This survey also links into the We Are Undefeatable campaign being run by SASP. For the first time ever, 15 leading health and social care charities have launched a national campaign and movement to inspire and support people with health conditions to be active. The campaign is inspired by, and features, the real-life experiences of people with health conditions getting active despite the ups, downs and unpredictability of their condition. The campaign “We Are Undefeatable” aims to support people living with health conditions to build physical activity into their lives, in a way that their condition allows, and to celebrate every victory big or small. Somerset, more specifically West Somerset is one of ten projects funded by Sport England across the country and we are fortunate to have our own ambassadors who have one or more long term health conditions and are positive about physical activity in all its forms – just doing what they can, when they can. For more information on We Are Undefeatable Somerset, click here https://www.sasp.co.uk/long-term-conditions
James Rimmer, Somerset CCG CEO and We Are Undefeatable Somerset Ambassador said;
“Looking after our own physical and mental health has never been more important. It’s something I know in both my professional and personal life and yet, I am as aware as anyone, that this isn’t always easy. I am therefore a passionate ambassador for SASP’s We Are Undefeatable campaign to encourage more of us living with long term conditions, asthma in my case, to be more active in ways that are sustainable and fit in with our daily lives”.
Janes Knowles, SASP CEO continues,
“We know that physical activity can help improve the quality of life regardless of age and long term health condition in many ways, both physically and emotionally. This work helps provide some insight and a platform to inform us of the need, motivations, importance and barriers that people have before they are empowered to use physical activity to improve their own lives on a regular basis”.
The findings from this survey and future work will allow SASP and partner organisations to make informed decisions about the work we do to improve the health and happiness of residents across Somerset and to develop solutions to support many more people to become or remain active in a way that’s right for them.
To find out more about the findings from the survey please click here to access a recorded webinar and insight pack. https://www.sasp.co.uk/shielded-list-survey
For more information and free resources to move more at home and in your locality (from national and local partners including Macmillan and Stroke Association), as well as Age UK Somerset who are providing on line classes https://www.ageuk.org.uk/somerset please click here https://www.sasp.co.uk/be-active-at-home
SASP are pleased to have presented these findings to Sport England’s health and insight team, to the health professional community in Somerset and partners nationally, to Public Health England, Somerset Health and Wellbeing Board and to the participants themselves. SASP are very grateful to all those that took the time to complete the survey and continue to engage with us going forwards.