King’s Lynn firefighters take health vow

Members of North Lynn Fire Station's red watch
Members of North Lynn Fire Station's red watch

Firefighters from King’s Lynn North station have taken a test to determine if they could lead a healthier lifestyle, in a new campaign.

It is part of Norfolk County Council’s public health team’s bid to get people to clean up their act in 2017 after the festive indulgences.

As part of this people are urged to check if they could make some small changes to improve their health by taking the One You online quiz at www.nhs.uk/oneyou/how-are-you.

It only takes 10 minutes and at the end people are given a score out of 10, suggestions on how they could improve their health and links to offer support in making those changes.

More than 1.1 million people have taken the quiz so far and been directed, where relevant, to download Public Health England’s free mobile apps like Couch to 5K, Drinks Checker and Easy Meals.

Clive Wells, 52, is Lynn North’s station manager. After completing the quiz, he said: “I do an hour’s hard cardio exercise every morning and walk the dogs for an hour a day, so I think I keep fairly fit. I think you have to be more health conscious as you get older, I’m diabetic so without a shadow of a doubt that makes me more aware of the need to stay fit and healthy.

“My wife organises my diet so I have quite a strict diet to make sure my sugars are kept low, but I would like to lose a couple of pounds so I’ll try to eat a bit less in January.”

Steven Lyden, 41, has been a firefighter for 14 years. He said: “I’m reasonably healthy for someone my age. I bike to work most days, which is a 15-mile round trip, and I actually find it easier in the winter as I don’t get so hot on the bike.

“I don’t enjoy exercise but for me the motivation is getting to work, and it only takes me five minutes longer than driving, so it forces me to do exercise. You get a sense of your own mortality when you hit 40, and I had a bit of a scare a couple of years ago, so I feel better now than I did this time two years ago, just down to cycling and going walking with my wife.”

Lee Broadhurst, 42, is a crew manager at North Lynn. He said: “I got six out of 10 in the quiz, so I’m all right but could do better and I have been better in the past.

“My age is catching up with me a little bit, and it does make me think I should do better to be a bit healthier with my drinking and eating because I have put on some weight recently. Diet-wise, it’s been harder over Christmas as there’s more opportunities to eat food you shouldn’t and going to people’s houses for drinks.

“I’ve got a horrendous sweet tooth and, because we have kids, there’s been quite a lot of treats around at home because of the time of year.

“We do exercise together as a family and in the new year we’ll be getting back to the healthy eating as a family too, which will make it easier for me to be healthier.”

Mark Endersby, 42, a firefighter for 18 years, said: “I cycle a lot, and compete in races, but my diet could be better.

“I eat a lot of fruit but I could eat more vegetables and cut down on processed carbohydrates – they’re quick and easy but I know they’re not the best for you.

“I want to be able to maintain my fitness and do what I’ve always been able to do on my bike, and it’s not going to get easier as I get older.”

Adam Ellis, 45, is a crew manager at North Lynn. He said: “I’m definitely more health conscious than when I was in my 20s. I coach cycling at quite a high level so if I’m telling people what to do I need to be able to do it myself.

The quiz flagged up that I could do with doing some more strength work, and it’s something that I have been thinking about, so I should probably do more of that now I’m 45.”