From an appetite for women's football to the uplifting way we can take care of our bone health, take a break from bad news with these hopeful stories
Study finds Brits have an appetite for women’s sport
From the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory to the London Lions’ tour de force of a season, women’s sport has seen phenomenal success lately.
Now, a new study by the London Lions Basketball Club reveals the exciting effect that women’s sports are having on the nation, with a breathtaking 5 million Brits trying a new sport, and 4.2 million attending a women’s sports game for the first time this past year. So, is it any surprise that 56% of those surveyed also believe there needs to be equal coverage of men’s and women’s sports on TV?
That said, it’s not quite a slam dunk for women’s sports yet. One in five of the women surveyed reveal they’ve come up against discrimination or exclusion which deterred them from taking part, and one in four feel that progressing in a sport isn’t realistic due to a lack of relatable role models.
But the manager of the Lions’ women’s team, Vanja Cernivec, seeks to remedy this with grassroots initiatives, such as a series of female-only basketball clinics, each aiming to inspire young girls across the country to take part in basketball. “I’m really proud of the London Lions and 777 for their commitment to not only elevate women’s sport, but to invest in women, period,” Vanja commented.
Campaigns like these give women the courage and confidence needed to break down barriers and achieve greater parity in sports. Game on!
Should you be dancing for your bone health?
When you think of ways to create strong bones, is your first port of call calcium? It may be our go-to, but it turns out that this isn’t the only thing that can help. To raise awareness, and get us moving, the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) has partnered up with experts from Scottish Ballet to bring the incredible world of dance to those with osteoporosis – and those without – spreading joy and promoting the importance of bone health.
This partnership resulted in an innovative exercise programme called ‘Dance for Your Bones’, which combines the beauty of dance with weight-bearing exercises to help enhance and sustain bone health.
The accompanying film offers step-by-step instructions for a series of moderate-impact graceful and energetic moments, with low-impact alternatives, that can be followed at your own pace, regardless of your ability. These exercises encourage your bones to work harder to support the body’s weight, helping to strengthen bones and slow bone loss.
Sarah Leyland, clinical adviser at the ROS is thrilled about the potential impact of the programme. She says, “Our hope is that ‘Dance for Your Bones’ will motivate more people to take action to improve their bone health through physical activity, and make it a lifelong habit.”
If you’re ready to embark on a journey towards stronger bones and a healthier, happier you, head to theros.org.uk to find out more.
Nurse uses personal experience to support others
If you ever doubt that one person can make a difference, consider this Coventry University student who has been nominated for a national award in recognition of her inspirational wellbeing resources for young mental health patients.
Leanne Howlett retrained as a mental health nurse after leaving her job as a solicitor due to postnatal depression. While on placement with RISE, Coventry and Warwickshire’s mental health service for children and young people, Leanne developed a resource pack with sleep tips, grounding skills, and coping strategies to ease the discharge process, empowering patients to feel ready to take the next steps.
This move was inspired by her own experience of being discharged. “I was worried about being on my own and what was next, because I wanted that security blanket of the health practitioner,” she reflects.
Going that extra mile during what can feel like an unsettling time of change for patients, Leanne actively put into practice what she’d learnt while studying, to make a change in the lives of so many young people. Honouring the achievement, RISE lead nurse Nicola Evans says, “The RISE Discharge Wellbeing Pack will transform daily nursing practice. It will support in celebrating the progress and futures of the children and young people who have accessed our service.”
Making footprints for others to follow, Leanne hopes she can spur students to know they can bring about a change because of their actions. A good reminder for us all to have the courage to make a difference in the world – no matter how big or small.
Employers are stepping up for our mental health
‘Workplace wellbeing’ has become somewhat of a buzzphrase in recent years, as we’re increasingly aware of the ways that our work lives affect our health and happiness. Now a new study from wellbeing app Headspace has found that 83% of UK employees believe that their employer is doing enough to support their mental health – increasing from 65% in 2022.
Today, the marketing, media, and advertising sector boast the highest levels of satisfaction, with 92% of employees stating that their employers are supporting their mental health at work.
But other sectors have also seen a rise in satisfaction. In fact, 56% of retail employees reported feeling better about their mental health compared to last year, and 66% of construction workers said that the things on offer were having a positive impact on their mental health.
“Workplace mental health continues to be a top three business priority, with employees and CEOs experiencing frequent levels of stress due to market uncertainty and growing workplace pressures,” explains Russell Glass, CEO at Headspace. “In response, companies must not only ensure they have robust mental health and wellbeing programmes in place, but that their leaders are tending to their own mental health, fostering open conversations with their teams, and helping to reduce stigma in the workplace.”
Let’s continue the conversation, and make workplace wellbeing schemes work for us.