Have a Healthy Midlife for a Healthy Old Age

Peter Russell

March 08, 2016

Living healthily during middle-age years can double your chances of being healthy at 70 and into older age, say experts.

A campaign launched today by Public Health England draws attention to our everyday habits and behaviours that can determine our quality of life in retirement.

One You

The message of the 'One You' campaign is that around 40% of all deaths in England are caused by the effects of poor diet, inactivity, smoking and drinking too much alcohol - personal choices that currently cost the NHS more than £11 billion to treat.

Professor Sir Muir Gray is the clinical adviser behind the campaign which aims to encourage adults to move more, eat well, drink less and not smoke tobacco. "Many diseases that impact people’s health and shorten their active lives can be prevented," he says in a statement. "Currently, 42% of adults in midlife are living with at least one long-term health condition which increase their risk of early death and disability."

Living Longer

Although figures show that people can expect to live longer than ever, many are spending their retirement in ill health. There are currently 15 million Britons living with long-term health conditions.

Public Health England wants adults to take an online health quiz called 'How Are You?' Based on your answers, the results will lead to personalised recommendations about how to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Trials have shown that 56% of 40 to 60 year olds taking the test say they are likely to change their lifestyles to boost health because of the feedback they are given.

Putting Your Health First

Those behind the campaign acknowledge that modern day life makes it hard for people to live healthily, with food sold in bigger portions, the pressure to be behind a desk all day and hours spent commuting. They say One You will give many people the chance to reappraise their lifestyles and put them and their health first before it is too late.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, England's chief medical officer, says in a statement: "It is important people of all ages feel able to prioritise their health so they can lead long and healthy lives.

"We all have the power to shape our future health by making simple and small changes now. One You campaign acknowledges that this can be difficult and is there to help make these changes easier."

In a statement, Professor Kevin Fenton, national director at Public Health England says: "For the first time, Public Health England is launching a campaign that talks to adults directly about all of the things they can do to improve their health.

He adds: "We want everyone across the country to know that it is never too late to get your health back on track."


Public Health England.

Reviewed on March 07, 2016