Norfolk website launched to enable healthy changes
A new website which can help people to understand their unhealthy behaviours and help them to understand the changes they might need to make is launching in Norfolk.
Ready to Change offers people the opportunity to make small changes to help tackle unhealthy behaviours, focusing on four of the biggest lifestyle behaviours: alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Behavioural change might seem difficult to many people, but the Covid-19 pandemic has proven that we are capable of rapid changes in our behaviour, such as more frequent hand washing, social distancing, and mask wearing.
People are being encouraged to visit the site, look at the content, and try out some of the tools to help them in their journey.
Bill Borrett, cabinet member for public health, said: "This is a fantastic project which sets out the right way to tackle unhealthy behaviours.
"Because it’s backed by scientific research, we feel confident that it will help people to kick bad habits, and by using the quizzes, people will be able to learn more about their health.
"Our priority is the health and well-being of Norfolk’s residents, and this website will not only help to improve the health of the county, but also help to reduce pressures on other services, at a time when clinical capacity is being stretched."
Dr Felix Naughton, associate professor in health psychology at the University of East Anglia (UEA), said: "We developed the website based on the latest scientific evidence.
"This included identifying and embedding multiple behavioural change techniques, which studies have found are effective at helping people change their health behaviours.
"A key element of the website is the inclusion of self-assessment quizzes where people can learn how they are doing with their current health behaviours.
"These quizzes give a green, amber, or red rating and can help people identify where they can make the biggest gains.
"The site is based on the latest evidence from the field of behavioural science and uses cutting edge tools and techniques to ensure people are not just given advice about what they can do to improve their health but are given support to achieve and sustain the positive changes they want to make."
Dr Louise Smith, director of public health, Norfolk, said: "Ready to Change is a brand-new resource aimed at helping people to choose healthy habits, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation, being physically active and eating healthy.
"I’m really proud of what we’ve built, it’s a completely new brand working with our colleagues at the UEA and other service providers.
"At a time where public health is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the resources we provide can help people effect real change in their lives, something we know they’re capable of following on from Covid-19."
James Wade, operations manager for Smokefree Norfolk, said: "It has been a privilege for East Coast Community Healthcare and Smokefree Norfolk to have been involved in the planning and design of the Ready to Change website.
"We have supported the development of the website by reviewing the content and the user journey.
"This digital tool will enhance our service by helping service users wishing to make a behaviour change to stop smoking.
"This site will support a journey to quit in the early stages by providing advice, information and support every step of the way.
"The site is an excellent resource for Smokefree Norfolk, enabling both staff and clients to enhance the support package that is delivered our Norfolk smokers. We hope the Ready to Change website is a huge success."
Penny Carpenter, healthy living champion, said: "We are always looking for ways to help people live healthier lives, and this tool will provide people with the information and support they need to make changes which will make a real difference to them.
"In my role as healthy living champion, I’m really pleased we are able to launch this website, which we hope will see a remarkable improvement in people’s health."