The Men’s Network in Brighton & Hove is to chair a new group of Sports and Health professionals committed to improving the health of men and boys through sport in 2011.
The move is in line with the UK Government’s new strategy for public health, which places a stronger emphasis on the NHS working with partners to promote healthy living.
By chairing this new group The Men’s Network is taking a lead role in bringing partners together to explore how we can focus our collective power on the single purpose of improving men and boys health through sport in 2011 and beyond.
The initiative builds on existing partnership work between sports and health professionals in the city. Last year a team of health specialists got together with local sports clubs to explore how we can build on the excellent work undertaken by Brighton & Hove Albion FC and NHS Brighton & Hove in raising awareness of bowel, lung and prostate cancer among men over 55 years.
It is expected that one of the first actions of the group, that will meet for the first time this month, will be to co-ordinate a calendar of new and existing events with the intention of:
- Optimizing the potential of the work we are already doing
- Developing existing networks to share good practice and promote better partnership work where appropriate
- Creating mutually beneficial opportunities to work together to improve male health
- Identifying and acting on potential funding opportunities to improve men and boys’ health through sport
This initiative is being administrated by Brighton & Hove NHS and chaired by The Men’s Network for Brighton & Hove in line with its commitment to Improving Male Health in Brighton & Hove.
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT SPORT AND HEALTH:
Professor Richard Parish, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health addressing Symposium on Improving Men and Boys Health Through Sport said:
“Sports and all sorts of physical activity are vital in preventing obesity which is a cause of heart disease and cancer.”
Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum, speaking at the same event said: “We need to get more boys active by moving their competitive energy from the computer screen to the sports field.”
“Already only about half of all young men are getting enough exercise to benefit their health so we cannot afford lose the facilities and encouragement that get boys and young men playing sports. At this symposium, we have heard about some fantastic work that’s getting men back in to being active but it is almost certainly harder if they did not develop the habit of exercising when they were younger.”
It’s also worth noting that sport can also have a negative impact on men’s health. Last year a survey linked unhealthy eating and drinking to major sports event by predicting a surge in beer consumption and takeaway orders during South Africa 2010. It suggested that almost one in 10 of fans would drink more than 25 cans of beer throughout the tournament and one in 15 planned to eat six to 10 pizzas during the Cup.