Muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities for general health benefits in adults and older adults

Public Health England & Centre for Ageing Better  | July 2018 | Muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities for general health benefits in adults and older adults

Public Health England (PHE) have published a review that  highlights the  increasing evidence on strengthening and balance activities for general health benefits, and suggest that all adults and older adults should  undertake a programme of exercise at least twice per week that includes high intensity resistance training, some impact exercise (running, jumping, skipping etc.) and balance training.


The specific exercises included and the volume of exercise per session should be
tailored to individual fitness and physical function (Source PHE).
The full review is available from PHE 

National intelligence network on drug health harms briefing: March 2018

Public Health England | July 2018 | National intelligence network on drug health harms briefing: March 2018

Public Health England (PHE) has published a briefing based on a meeting of the national intelligence network (NIN) on the health harms associated with drug use. The NIN is made up of representatives from drug treatment services, local authority public health and commissioning teams and national professional and membership bodies. Network meetings are chaired by Dr Michael Kelleher, consultant addictions specialist and clinical lead for Lambeth Addictions at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (PHE).

The full guidance is available from PHE 

Major health benefits from strengthening and balance activity

New evidence review concludes that adults should do strengthening and balancing exercises twice a week alongside aerobic exercise | Public Health England | Centre for Ageing Better


An evidence review commissioned by Public Health England and the Centre for Ageing Better has found that muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities continue to have great health benefits for all adults, including older adults aged 65 years and over.

In older adults, poor muscle strength increases the risk of a fall by 76% and those who have already had a fall are three times more likely to fall again. Strengthening and balance activities not only help to prevent this, but also help improve mood and sleeping patterns, increase energy levels and reduce the risk of an early death.

Activities found to have the most benefit for muscle and bone strengthening include:

  • ball games
  • racket sports
  • dance
  • Nordic walking
  • resistance training (usually training with weights, but including body weight exercises which can be performed anywhere)

Full document: Muscle and bone strengthening and balance activities for general health benefits in adults and older adults. Summary of a rapid evidence review for
the UK Chief Medical Officers’ update of the physical activity guidelines. | Public Health England & Centre for Ageing Better

England’s poorest areas are fast food hotspots

Public Health England | June 2018 | England’s poorest areas are fast food hotspots 

New figures from Public Health England (PHE) reveal England’s poorest areas are fast food hotspots, with 5 times more outlets found in these communities than in the most affluent.


The analysis demonstrates that the most deprived communities have over a quarter (26%) of fast-food outlets including chip shops and pizza takeaways.


The new figures also show a variation in the number of fast food outlets across England, ranging from zero in some wards to over 100 in others.

Many local authorities across England have taken action to address their food environment and PHE is encouraging them to learn from each other. At least 40 areas have developed policies to restrict the growth of new takeaways and fast food outlets, and PHE has helped develop stronger planning guidance to support other areas in doing this.

More than third of children in England are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, a figure even higher in some deprived communities. This increases their risk of being overweight or obese adults and suffering preventable diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England, said: It’s not surprising soem childrne find it difficult to resist hte lure of fast food outlets when many neighbourhoods are saturated with them. Local authorities have the power to help shpae our environment and support people in making healthier choices. They need to question whether these fast food hotspots are compatible with their work to help families and young children live healthier lives (Source: PHE).


Department of Health and Social Care Childhood obesity: a plan for action, chapter 2

Healthy weight, healthy futures: Local government action to tackle childhood obesity

Local Government Association|  June 2018 | Healthy weight, healthy futures: local government action to tackle childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is one of the biggest health challenges of the 21st century. At the start of primary school one in 10 children are obese and by the end, that has increased to one in five.

Healthy weight, healthy futures
Image source:

The Local Government Association (LGA)’s publication of Healthy weight, healthy futures: Local government action to tackle childhood obesity’ updates the earlier, 2016 edition (February 2016).

This publication showcases the wide variety of ways, that the sector is working with their colleagues in planning to not only restrict takeaways, but also working proactively to ensure new developments take into account health and wellbeing. Some are focussing on getting children physically active and the latest figures suggest less than a quarter of children are achieving the required levels.

Meanwhile, others are concentrating on food and diet. In doing so, they are forging important partnerships with early years settings, schools, community groups and local businesses (Source: LGA).

Studies from Sheffield, Leeds and Wakefield City Councils are included

Healthy weight, healthy futures: local government action to tackle childhood obesity can be downloaded from Local Government Association

Survey reveals women experience severe reproductive health issues

Public Health England | 2018 | Survey reveals women experience severe reproductive health issues

A  new publication from Public Health England (PHE) report is the first of its kind to report  the impact of women’s reproductive health issues on the nation’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. The survey of 7,367 women reveals that 31% had experienced severe reproductive health symptoms in the last 12 months, ranging from heavy menstrual bleeding to menopause, incontinence to infertility.The report shows  the impact these issues have on women’s ability to work and go about their daily lives and will form the basis of a cross-governmental 5-year action plan on reproductive health (Source: PHE). 

Dr Sue Mann, Public Health Consultant in Reproductive Health, from PHE said:
“Women’s reproductive health concerns can fundamentally influence physical and mental well-being throughout their whole life course. Our research has highlighted that while individual reproductive health issues and concerns change throughout a woman’s life, the feelings of stigmatisation and embarrassment were almost universal.”
“The report reveals the need for an open and supportive approach in the workplace and in the health system. We encourage women to seek support from their workplace, and for workplace management to be aware of how reproductive health symptoms can affect women’s daily health.”

The full press release can be read from PHE 

A consensus statement Reproductive health is a public health issue  

What do women say? Reproductive health is a public health issue