Local men reminded to look after their mental wellbeing by boosting their physical health levels


The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health and learning disability services to the people of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, is reminding men that physical exercise can boost their physical and mental wellbeing as part of ‘Men’s health week 2010’.

Men’s health week runs from 14th -20th June and is organised annually by the Men’s Health Forum (MHF). This year’s theme is men and physical activity.

The week has three main objectives: • To encourage more men to become more physically active (eg. walking, using the stairs, gardening, dancing, recreational cycling, DIY) • To improve male participation in sport • To develop the potential of sports settings (eg. stadia, leisure centres) for delivering health services and campaigns to men.

Physical activity can improve all aspects of health, from relieving stress and anxiety to losing weight, reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Despite this too many men are now physically inactive.

The local NHS provider of mental health services is calling on men to use this awareness week as an opportunity to get more active to improve their own mental wellbeing at the same time as their physical health.

Physiotherapists recommend that adults exercise at moderate intensity for 30 minutes, 5 times a week, but this could be broken up into three or four smaller chunks. Just being a little more active throughout the day can benefit your health. Physical activity can boost mental wellbeing and change your outlook on life. It can help people with anxiety and depression, and might even prevent such problems from developing in the first place.

The Trust’s principal physiotherapist Margaret Freeburn, who is also a local move for health champion, said; "The Trust fully support Men’s Health Week in their attempts to get men more active. The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to join the gym to get active and it doesn’t have to cost any money. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and start running marathons, simple changes can make a big difference. Just becoming more active can improve your health, confidence and quality of life."

Taking part in a team sport is also beneficial for mental wellbeing. The Trust’s good mood football league provides evidence of this. The league is made up of 9 teams, with players who have all used mental health services. In a recent survey of the players 92% agreed that their physical health and mental health had improved, 75% felt more optimistic about their future and 85% said it had helped develop their confidence.

To find out more about ‘Men’s health week’ visit www.menshealthforum.org.uk or for more tips on looking after your mental wellbeing visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk

Local men reminded to look after their mental wellbeing by boosting their physical health levels

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