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Leicester's Care, Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2027

Theme 4: Healthy Lives

Ambition: To encourage people to make sustainable and healthy lifestyle choices

Group of walkers on a sunny day

A healthy lifestyle reduces the risk factors linked to developing long term mental and physical health conditions. People with chronic health conditions can manage these risks and prevent their health from becoming worse by making healthy choices.

Some people experience unfair and unjust differences in health and wellbeing due to factors such as ethnicity, poverty, employment. People with a learning disability experience worse health than people without learning disabilities. People with mental health problems also tend to experience worse physical health. Many of these differences in health are avoidable, or things can be done to reduce the impact of these differences.

Lifestyle choices such as smoking, excess drinking of alcohol, poor diet and a lack of exercise contribute to around 40% of premature deaths in the city. Poor health choices made in adulthood may also have a negative impact on health in later life.

Environmental factors such as secure employment, a sense of purpose and having meaningful social connections also contribute towards positive health.

Having access to cultural activities, such as museums and theatre and opportunities for learning outside of work, helps overall health and wellbeing throughout our lives, as does feeling part of the local community by having strong relationships with friends, family and faith groups.

Key issues affecting people in Leicester with examples of what we are doing to improve people’s opportunities to live a healthy life

Blood pressure being checked

Long-term conditions

Rates of diabetes are significantly higher in Leicester compared to England, with an estimated 31,000 adults living with diabetes in the city. The number of people living with more than one chronic condition is increasing.

We are raising awareness of the condition and the importance of early diagnosis, and improving care and timely access to diagnosis, by working as part of Cities Changing Diabetes.

People gathered around an Active Health stall

Lifestyle choices

Half of adults in Leicester are overweight or obese. One in ten adults drinks alcohol above the recommended weekly units.

One in five adults in Leicester eats the recommended five fruit and vegetables a day and two in five do less than the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week.

Our most vulnerable groups, such as those living in the most deprived areas, are at risk of making poor lifestyle choices.

We are encouraging more people to take up or increase their levels of physical activity through initiatives like Active Leicester and we are supporting people to walk and cycle more.

We are encouraging people to eat more healthily through the delivery of the Food Plan and are supporting people to reduce smoking and alcohol consumption.

People relaxing after a fitness session

Mental and physical health

There is a clear link between mental and physical health. People with poor mental health may neglect their physical health and people who are physically unwell may develop poor mental health.

See Healthy Minds section for examples of work that we are doing.