Unhealthy behaviour puts strain on the NHS
The recent National Health Report 2014 by Benenden Health questioned 4,000 people across the UK about their health habits, and found that most people fall short on 8 markers of health, which is putting huge strain on the NHS.
The report stated that the average UK male eats 3.3 portions of the recommended ‘5 a day’ of fruit and vegetables, has an ‘overweight class’ BMI of 26.2, only drinks 953ml of water a day, sleeps for 6.4 hours a night, does 73 minutes of cardio a week and 1.4 muscle strengthening workouts, smokes 3.8 cigarettes a day and drinks 13.6 units of alcohol a week. Of these eight measures, only the level of alcohol consumption falls within recommended guidelines.
What is interesting to note is that, given the fitness professional’s role is to improve the health and wellbeing of clients, simply increasing the amount of exercise they do only tackles a quarter of the measures listed above. To have an impact on the others, trainers and coaches must address nutrition and lifestyle factors - including stress, sleep and negative behaviours such as smoking. So it’s essential they have the required knowledge in these areas.
Behaviour change skills are the key to ensuring the technical knowledge trainers have is then successfully translated into results for clients, and this is something the health and fitness industry is embracing. Behaviour change is all about focusing motivation in the right direction and altering mindset. If you want to help clients reach their goals, help them change their minds – literally!