To implement an innovative, comprehensive and evidence based programme, designed to enhance, physical, mental, emotional and academic development of individuals. The implementation of EduFit UK programme results in 'the enrichment response' within patients/services users; and leads to measurable, and tangible improvement in their weight management pathways.
The programme is relevant to NICE PH53 Overweight and obese adults: lifestyle weight management services, Recommendation 2 'Ensure services cause no harm' which includes advice on the tone and style of communications to adopt with patients and service users who are overweight or obese.
Aims and objectives
The key objective of the intervention is to avoid concentrating on the weight loss outcome, but to establish a proficiency and efficiency in the various phases leading to the weight loss. It aims at establishing a strong maintenance and termination stages in weight loss for the participants, while sensibly communicating around the various issues related to excess weight. Specific objectives:
Use appropriate communication and delivery methods while dealing with overweight clients Improve economical, social and environmental wellbeing of individuals leading to happier and healthier families and neighbourhood;
Empower individuals to positively act on the matter of their personal health (especially in relation to their weight) and to minimise the sense of being powerless, as a result of accumulation of misguided beliefs, and in cases many complex socio-economical issues.
Equip individuals who are lacking an obvious inefficiency to correctly execute basic movements while taking part in various physical activities. At times, the choice of the physical activity they were taking part in, was completely contradictory to their need and health requirements hence their limitation, and in some cases a lack of achievement in desirable goals.
Create social value such as building up social capital and community led intervention in the delivery of the programme which gives a wider community benefits (many of our clients have had a low self-esteem, poor communication skills and a low sense of possibility and personal achievement).
Reasons for implementing your project
Over the last fifteen years, I have lived and worked as a teacher and as a coach in Leicestershire, commonly known as a region populated by a high percentage of overweight people and obesity related health problems in adults as the latest statistics suggest. The figures published by Public Health England show 57 per cent of adults in the city are now classed as overweight or obese. Taking into account a make up of Leicester City, there is evidence that people of black, South Asian and other minority ethnic groups are at risk of chronic health problems - such as diabetes and heart disease - at a lower BMI (below 25 ) than the white population. In Leicestershire, some 65.4 per cent of people are classed as overweight or obese.
Through my interaction with students and their parents in my teaching capacity, as well as with clients while delivering weight management interventions, I have encountered many situations where individuals were facing significant health inequality, mainly related to unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking. But also due to multiple social depravation and behaviour issues. Majority of these individuals could be classified as lacking understanding and knowledge of basic health prevention methods, and very rarely participating in any public health engagement programme.
In my professional capacity I have witnessed a lack of sensitivity in the approaches taken by practitioners when dealing with weight management issues. Often individuals are advised to change their diet alone rather than a focus on broader lifestyle improvement. This educational weight management programme was established to provide meaningful, person centred service utilising physical activity as a mean to embed new standards and new beliefs in relation to health and wellbeing.
How did you implement the project
Each participant will undertake an initial assessment, where individual goals and aims will be discussed. Client's implementation plan will include a tailored programme comprising of one on one interventions, group sessions and seminars. Weekly evaluation is carried to measure their progress and further needs. A written training programme is provided for each individual, and is designed with their close collaboration (co-production approach). We work with the participants to draw on their strength rather than on their weaknesses. We concentrate on educating the participants, focussing on the process rather than on the outcome, to ensure understanding and efficiency, which in turn enable higher possibilities of positive achievement. We insist that all activities are not focussing on 'doing' but on 'learning'. Educated participants, are better equipped towards successfully achieving their personal health goals.
The key element of the Edu-Fit Uk methodology is to provide daily interaction and intervention from our staff with the clients. Over time, it will create a form of mutual respect and trust, enabling us to create an atmosphere of possibilities. The humanisation of the process, a sense of genuine empathy and comprehension, paired with knowledge and honesty will help developing self-confidence within our patient.
We had to overcome misguided beliefs in regard to weight loss and health in general, as well as redeveloping a sentiment of empowerment within many participants. Generating a sentiment of possibility, often after a long period of resignation was maybe the most challenging and rewarding part.
2. Two thirds of our clients identified a significant improvement on their life & general wellbeing. All of our clients experienced an increase in their mobility, range of movements, aerobic, anaerobic and strength capacity.
3. Due to life circumstances, as such as moving house, starting family, changing job, various individuals are now living too far away to train with us however, they have reported engaging in another form physical activities, as swimming, cycling, playing football as a result of rediscovering range of movements and others attributes as well as increase self of esteem and a sense of possibilities.
4. To monitor our clients progress and to evaluate their results we use a number of methods to include observation, data collection, questionnaires to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the outcomes. Weight loss and various relevant data are recorded, however, we emphasis the collection of data related to the improvement in the elements of fitness (monitoring physical activity sessions and recording variations).
The main results can be summarised as following: (in comparison to the initial baseline assessment with a client)
- changing limiting beliefs
- increased understanding and knowledge
- beyond the obvious physical changes, the main impact is the rediscovery of hope, and a new resilience
- 70% of participants enter the 'maintenance' stage, with 60% of participants accessing the 'termination' stage.
Impact of the involvement on individuals:
- a high number of our clients, finding employment, obtaining promotion in their work, creating their own business, taking part in physically challenging activities (such as half marathon, extreme racing, various outdoor sports, outback travelling, etc.).
- many participants have demonstrated a greater respect for themselves, proving others that they are worthy of respect.
- many have a new found courage and are more willing to confront their fears, self-doubts and are able to change their limiting beliefs.
Key learning points
1. When it comes weight management and the issue of weight sensitivity, too many programmes are concentrating their efforts on the two psychological stages of change known as 'contemplation' and 'preparation'; with the aspiration to incite individuals to take part.
2. Too many times focus is solely on attracting numbers to their programmes. Sadly, the 'action' and 'maintenance' stages are too often of poor quality, generally due to the absence of good quality guidance provided, as well as the absence of real passion, empathy and compassion on the side of the practitioners.
By extension, these factors do not enable the 'termination' stage to take place.
3. Practitioners involved do not need to act as counsellors, but should be able to understand the physical and maybe more importantly the psychological elements leading one to become overweight.
4. To successfully implement any programmes dealing with the weight loss issue should integrate three fundamental elements:
- as much as there is a need for a core methodology, one of the key points for success, reside in the individualisation of the delivery. To enable the requisite physical, psychological and emotional outcomes, a personal centred approach is necessary. Therefore, a 'one fit all' approach is to be avoided.
- it is of the highest importance to help the participant to find strong enough reasons, to -aise personal standards, change certain 'misguided' self-beliefs and create new habits, enabling the 'maintenance' stage to take roots. through the adequate education of the participants, the practitioners are then establishing a much higher level of success in embedding the 'termination' stage (terminating the unwanted unhealthy life habits)