Pillar 3: Our health behaviours and lifestyles

Health behaviours are closely related to the wider determinants of health. In Cheshire West we know there are higher rates of smoking, obesity, and harm from alcohol in lower socioeconomic groups and among those living in our more deprived areas. This close association between health behaviours and the wider determinants is the reason we must focus more broadly than health care alone in our efforts to improve health.

Although the Place Plan stresses the wider determinants and a good start in life, this does not mean that health behaviours are unimportant. Current lifestyles present a serious threat to population health, particularly for more disadvantaged groups as noted above.

What helps to improve health?

  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking alcohol sensibly
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Eating healthy food

We will:

  • Promote healthy behaviours in children, young people, and adults to prevent them developing harmful habits.
  • Provide services (including debt management and substance misuse services) to those most at risk from these behaviours to help them move towards healthier lifestyles.
  • Help all people keep themselves well and independent in their homes for longer.
  • Promote free or low-cost wellbeing opportunities in the borough, for example Brio Leisure, including the health services they provide, Mersey Forest, arts, leisure, and cultural events.
  • Work on a structured strategy and action plan across the health and care system to improve mental health and wellbeing for all ages.
  • Implement ‘Making Every Contact Count’ where every contact with a service (not just a health service or professional) is an opportunity for a conversation about ways to live a healthier life.
  • Maintain and promote the Cheshire West Live Well website so that residents can:
    • Find information, advice, and services easily
    • Make informed choices
    • Take personal responsibility for their health and wellbeing.