Blackpool may be a seaside town and a popular place to visit for millions of people each year, but unfortunately it is not a healthy place to live.
Male life expectancy in Blackpool is the lowest in the country. This is because men are less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle — they are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol in excessive amounts and be overweight or obese. These lifestyle factors mean that the likelihood of experiencing serious health issues such as cancer, stroke and heart disease is greatly increased.
Over the last ten years there have however been decreases in early death rates from these diseases but there are still too many men in Blackpool who suffer with preventable health problems.
That is why Altogether Now — a Legacy for Blackpool is calling on local men of all ages to think more consciously about their own health and lifestyle. The call comes ahead of National Men’s Health Week 2015 which runs from 15–21 June. The risk of these health issues can be reduced by making some very simple lifestyle changes such as; maintaining a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet and regular exercise; quitting smoking; drinking sensible levels of alcohol; and having regular health check-ups. If you are in the 40–74 age group without a pre-existing condition, you can expect to receive a letter from your GP inviting you for a free NHSHealth Check. An NHS Health Check can spot the early signs of possible health problems before you even begin to notice them so it is important you attend.
Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We know that men across Blackpool tend to take a much more laid-back approach to their own health and wellbeing. However, it is important that they do start to think more consciously about their long-term health. Habits like smoking, enjoying a few beers each night or regularly eating takeaways may seem harmless now but all really are detrimental to health. By making some small and simple lifestyle changes, men across our town can help themselves to live healthier and happier lives for longer.”
A number of male sporting stars are strong supporters of Altogether Now, helping to inspire and encourage other men in the town.
Champion boxer Brian Rose is Health Ambassador for the partnerships award winning Fit2Go initiative — a lifestyle and physical activity programme which is delivered in every primary school across Blackpool to inspire healthy lifestyles from an early age.
Brian is a firm supporter of Altogether Now and had this message for men across the town: “If I can inspire or encourage more men in Blackpool to be aware of their health and make conscious decisions to lead a better lifestyle then that is brilliant. I am proud to be involved with this fantastic programme and hope that more men begin to realise the importance of their own health and wellbeing.”
Lancashire County Cricket Club Vice Captain, Steven Croft, similarly inspires and motivates youngsters in Blackpool to think proactively about their health from an early age as the partnership’s Health Ambassador for Childhood Health.
Blackpool FC also support the partnership with dedicated health messages throughout match day programmes and on the big screen inside Bloomfield Road. Legendary former player, Jimmy Armfield CBE, is Health Ambassador for Mental Health and Wellbeing. He said: “Having a positive mental outlook is equally as important as being physically healthy. Altogether Now — a Legacy for Blackpool helps encourage this and I’m delighted to be involved.”
A range of initiatives to improve health, fitness, education and lifestyles are also delivered by Blackpool FC Community Trust under the banner of Altogether Now.
Notes to editors:
For further information about this press release please call the communications team at NHS Blackpool CCG on 01253 956594.