This section has described a comprehensive programme of measures and support to maximise opportunities for local people to be physically active. Nevertheless, significant proportions of the adult and child populations in Hackney and the City are failing to achieve the levels of activity required for good health.
Hackney also continues to have some of the highest rates of child obesity in the country (see Children and young people JSNA chapter). In response to this, early in 2016 a new Obesity Strategic Partnership (OSP) was launched to guide a ‘whole systems approach’ to tackling obesity in the borough. The partnership is chaired by the Chief Executive of the council and includes membership from across a range of service areas that can influence aspects of the food and physical activity environment, as well as the NHS. It will be working closely with businesses and residents to develop an effective and tailored approach that is relevant to Hackney’s unique communities.
One of the achievements of the OSP in its first few months has been the introduction of The Daily Mile into four local primary schools (with five more starting soon). The Daily Mile is an intervention developed in Scotland which supports schools to get whole classes doing 15 minutes of running/walking each day, and will hopefully be rolled out across Hackney over the coming months. Opportunities to incorporate dance into local physical activity programmes are also being explored as part of a review of provision for all ages in Hackney.
The 2015 Walking Potential study mentioned earlier identified 45,000 ‘switchable trips’ per day in Hackney (journeys that could be made by walking that are currently being made by car, bus or train). 1 The study highlighted geographical areas of the borough with high potential for increased walking, and this information is being used by the council to inform targeted local strategies in these areas.
The participation of Hackney and the City in the first wave roll out of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme, and the launch of a new physical activity on referral service in both local authority areas in recent months, offer new opportunities of tailored support to people at risk of inactivity-related ill health.
Hackney Council has just been awarded London Healthy Workplace Charter status (at ‘commitment’ level) and the City of London Corporation has already been awarded ‘achievement’ under the Charter. In the City, this builds on the well-established Business Healthy programme, which provides resources and advice on promoting staff wellbeing. These initiatives provide an excellent platform for the two local authorities to (continue to) work with employers in the area to enable and encourage an active local workforce, making the most of the workplace as a health promoting setting.
Finally, in the City, a number of challenges were identified as part of a strategic review to inform the local Sport and Physical Activity Strategy for 2015-2020. 2 This review identified a need for sensitive delivery of programmes to encourage participation in specific communities and careful tailoring of programmes so they attract the least active residents. Opportunities were identified to improve links with community champions to support uptake and engagement, and provide taster sessions and adapted programming to engage those who may not otherwise participate. Priority groups were identified as low paid City workers, children and young people, older residents, minority ethnic groups and disabled people.
- SDG, “Hackney Walking Potential Study,” 2015.
- Sport Leisure Culture , “City of London Corporation Sport and Physical Activity Strategy, 2015-2020,” 2015.