Read Jo's story on the We Are Undefeatable website.

The We Are Undefeatable Campaign Could Help You, a Friend or Family Member

You may have previously or more recently seen the We Are Undefeatable TV ad. Or, perhaps read about it on social media or heard it mentioned on the radio. So, what is the We Are Undefeatable campaign?

The We Are Undefeatable Campaign

Launched in 2019,  We Are Undefeatable is a national campaign and movement that encourages and supports the millions of people living with long-term health conditions to be active in a way that works for them.

The campaign is led by 16 of the UK’s leading health and social care charities and is backed by expertise, insight and significant National Lottery funding from Sport England.

Conditions could include but not limited to: Cancer, Arthritis, Asthma, Alzheimer’s, back pain, some long-term limiting mobility conditions, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (or other lung conditions), Dementia, Heart Disease, Stroke, Hypertension (or other heart related conditions), long-term depression or anxiety, MS, Parkinsons’, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Being Active

Being active will mean different things to different people. It’s about finding out what works for you and working around how you feel. This can be unpredictable and change from day to day, especially when you’re dealing with pain and fatigue.

For some this could be doing gentle exercises at home either on your own or with family and friends. For others it could be running or cycling, or a short walk is all that’s manageable that day. What’s important is that any movement helps and every achievement is worth celebrating.

Resources to Support You, a Friend or Family Member

If you have online access the We Are Undefeatable website has lots of information, resources, personal stories and ideas on how to get started.

We also have some local stories shared on our website such as ‘Are Superheroes Undefeatable? My Dad My Hero’ and Karen’s story of Walking More as Therapy.

Plus, the 16 leading charities that are involved in the campaign will have specific information on their websites. These health and social care charities are: Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Asthma UK, Breast Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, British Red Cross, Diabetes UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Mind, MS Society, Parkinson’s UK, Rethink Mental Illness, Royal Voluntary Service, Stroke Association and Versus Arthritis.

We Are Undefeatable has also produced a leaflet which can be downloaded or printed and then shared with family members or friends that may not have online access. Alongside really useful information on how to get started, the leaflet also features 15 exercises.

Why the Campaign is Needed

It is estimated that 43% of adults over 16 in England live with at least one long-term condition, according to the NHS Health Survey for England in 2018. These numbers are rising, as are the numbers of people living with more than one health condition.

Data from the Sport England Active Lives Survey also indicates that you are twice as likely to be inactive (i.e do less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week such as or equivalent to brisk walking) if you have a long-term health condition. This is despite evidence that being active can help manage many conditions and reduce the impact and severity of some symptoms.

Even small amounts of activity can make a significant difference to overall health and wellbeing.

Sport England research shows that:

  • 69% of people living with long-term health conditions would like to be more active

  • 66% say it would help manage or improve their condition, with improved mood and wellbeing seen as the biggest benefit (52%)

  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of people with a long-term health condition feared that physical activity would make their health issues worse and two in five (44%) would like more help and advice on how to be more active

  • A quarter of people with a long-term health condition reported being afraid to leave the house as lockdown restrictions eased and that they wouldn’t return to communal sport and leisure centres until there’s a vaccine, or coronavirus is no longer a threat in the UK

The survey of more than 1,000 adults also revealed that people with long-standing health concerns feel they face some unique barriers:

  • Over a third of people (36%) cited lack of energy as the main barrier to increasing physical activity; two in five (40%) reported that pain caused by their health condition prevented them from increasing the amount of physical activity they do

  • Over a quarter (28%) of people with a long-term health condition reported that the unpredictable nature of their condition made it hard to commit to a routine

Top Tips for Moving More with a Health Condition

  • Keep it simple. Involve family and friends. Finish your activity when you feel good and build up activity bit by bit
  • Be kind to yourself on the not so good days and make the most of the good ones too
  • Find ways to move that work best for you and find something that you enjoy, as you’re more likely to keep doing it

Note: The image at the top, from the We Are Undefeatable assets, is of Jo. You can read Jo’s story here.