The topic of health and wellbeing comes up almost every day in conversations with colleagues, friends, family as well as our clients, patients or customers. Having an understanding of such topics and the right tools to effectively support someone in making a positive behaviour change can be so powerful!
‘Many premature deaths and illnesses could be avoided by improving lifestyles. It is estimated that a substantial proportion of cancers and over 30% of deaths from circulatory diseases could be avoided mainly through a combination of stopping smoking, improving diet and increasing physical activity; saving the NHS £2.7 billion.
Few of us consciously choose ‘good’ or ‘bad’ health. We all make personal choices about how we live and how we behave, what to eat, what to drink and how active to be. We all make trade-offs between feeling good now and the potential impact of this on our long-term health. In many cases moderation is the key. All capable adults are responsible for these very personal choices.’ (Healthy Lives, Healthy People – Our Strategy for Public Health in England Dec 2010 White Paper)
If you can make a 5-minute window of opportunity available, to enable your client to verbalise their thoughts and attitudes about making small achievable changes in their health related behaviour, you could make a real difference to their future health and well-being. You do not have to be a health expert to do this. Research indicates that implementing simple ‘motivational interviewing techniques’ can result in reflective conversation, leading to a shift in attitude.