There have been plenty of health campaigns that encourage us to be fitter – and for some of us they work. But they tend to make already active people a bit more active, leaving inactive people even further behind. We can’t keep doing the same things and hope they’ll help everyone. It’s time to think differently.
Our approach to getting inactive people more active, and to making physical activity the norm, is called ‘we can move’ (originally titled ‘Gloucestershire Moves’). It was developed based on extensive consultation with more than 200 organisations and 500 individuals, from physical activity experts to programme beneficiaries.
We can move is a movement of people committed to getting Gloucestershire physically active.
The we can move approach is based on extensive research that shows that in order to change and sustain their behaviour, the least active people need layered circles of support and motivation. We’ve identified three steps to start building those circles. They are circles that are inter-linked and will adapt and change as we understand people better.
What gets in the way of the least active people becoming more active? What will motivate them to start their journey? We can’t assume we know – we must get out, start a conversation, and use tested methods to gain insights into the things that will really change people’s behaviour.
The next circle of support and motivation is the community we live in. Friends and family are vital. But so are schools, employers, religious organisations, neighbourhood groups, social clubs, charities. In fact, anyone who influences the way we think and feel. They will become a movement of people and organisations who want to make being active a normal part of everyday life.
The help we offer the least active people must be underpinned by the world around them. One where our workplaces don’t force us to sit still all day. Where we learn in ways that keep us moving. Where our local travel options encourage us to get out and about and walk rather than drive. The we can move movement will press for real-world changes that will turn Gloucestershire into a place where being active is the easy choice.
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