Heart health on the mind as new project launched in Kirklees

One of the innovative new prompts to be positioned around Kirklees.
One of the innovative new prompts to be positioned around Kirklees.

An innovative project to help promote physical activity and tackle heart disease among people in Kirklees is being launched.

CP Active Britain, a not-for-profit organisation, is launching ‘Environmental Health Prompts’ alongside Huddersfield University and Kirklees Council.

National charity Heart Research UK awarded the organisation a £10,000 grant to install a variety of outdoor media to encourage people to change their fitness behaviour.

The project will deliver short, visual messages to the community through roundabout signs, lamppost banners and visuals within workplaces.

Motivated by the fact that a significant proportion of heart disease is caused by inactivity, CP Active hope to address heart health across the whole community, reducing the health and economic burden of heart disease.

Dr Nicola Eccles, Director of Research at CP Active, says that altering our environments can have a much greater impact on positive health behaviour choices.

She said: “The Environmental Health Prompts will provide subliminal messages.

“These messages will encourage people to take a direct action – rather than being messages that inform people about heart healthy lifestyles and risk.”

The subliminal visual prompts will change after three or four weeks.

After this they will be replaced by a new set of prompts which represent a ‘call to action’.

The prompts or nudges have been positioned in workplaces as well as lampposts and roundabouts in Kirklees.

Dr Eccles added: “The grant awarded by Heart Research UK has given life to the project.

“With critics saying that pushing health information about lifestyle, obesity and heart disease isn’t effective, we need to find another way to prompt people to be more heart active.

“If these prompts with their subliminal messages work, it could change the way in which we promote healthy messages in the future, not just in Kirklees but across other cities and councils too.

“We know once people start to be more active, it will have a huge impact on their health.”