Blog: “Inspire someone to make changes that last a lifetime”
Activity Alliance enables organisations to support disabled people to be active and stay active for life. So, this year we’ll be sharing great stories from both sides – how organisations are working to make active lives possible, and the direct impact their work is having on individual disabled people. Today, Sara Hazzard, Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) tells us about CSP’s Love Activity, Hate Exercise campaign.
Hi, I’m Sara and I’m an Assistant Director of Strategic Communications at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).
In a nutshell, the CSP is the leading member organisation for physiotherapists in the UK. Our mission is to transform the health and wellbeing of the UK population.
Promoting physical activity and wellbeing is at the top of my agenda for the CSP.
Our insight shows a real need to improve the activity levels of people with long-term health conditions. More than 30% of people are completely inactive each week. That’s why we developed the ‘Love Activity, Hate Exercise?’ campaign – aimed at people aged 40-70 years old living with health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. It addresses the emotional and physical barriers millions of people face to being more physically active.
For many individuals the symptoms of a long-term health condition can make being active feel like an impossibility. Some worry that physical activity will lead to more pain, cause discomfort or reduce mobility, while others are fearful and simply don’t know where to start. This is where physiotherapists and our campaign comes in.
‘Love Activity, Hate Exercise?’ is designed to raise awareness and capitalise on the expertise of physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers to encourage people with long-term health conditions to be more active. By talking to patients about their love for certain activities, like dancing or walking, we realised they didn’t actually hate exercise. What they hated was the idea that it could worsen their symptoms or that they wouldn’t physically be able to do it. So, unlike campaigns aimed at rational side of decision making, our approach was to target the emotional side with empathy and build trust between physiotherapists and their patients.
It’s incredibly important for our members to talk about the benefits of physical activity with their patients and clients. Particularly as we know that meeting even the minimum national activity guidelines can help manage over 20 long-term health conditions through improved strength, stamina, mobility and reduced pain. The campaign supports our members with content and practical advice on specific barriers and how they can build partnerships with patients to help them work towards their physical activity goals.
It’s clear to us that many people living with a long-term health condition are worried about their future and how being physically active could affect them. Love Activity, Hate Exercise enables healthcare professionals to identify the barriers that prevent people from being more active, provide expert guidance to help individuals find activities that work for them and through a conversation, inspire someone to make changes that last a lifetime.
If you’re healthcare professional looking for more information and guidance then visit our health page. Our recent short feature film aims to help healthcare professionals support disabled people to be active. Watch below: