Whether improving your health is your top New Year’s resolution or you are already a regular at the gym, have you ever wondered how fit – or unfit – you are? The University of Sheffield has now created a calculator allowing you to compare your health to the average Yorkshire man or woman. The calculator is part of the Yorkshire Health Study, launched by the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).
• Join the study and then find out if you are Yorkshire Fit by using the new Yorkshire Health Calculator
• The fun device shows how your drinking, smoking , exercise and happiness levels compare with the rest of Yorkshire
• 30,000 have already joined – help researchers recruit 100,000 by the end of 2016
• Data will inform NHS decision making, make Yorkshire Healthier and could contribute to the next medical breakthrough!
The study aims to recruit 100,000 people in the region to fill in an online health questionnaire that aims to make Yorkshire healthier and happier. The questionnaire asks people about their health, health habits (eating, smoking, drinking etc.), health problems, and any treatments they use. The answers that people give are providing a detailed picture of the health of the region. This is then used to help find the best ways to improve health and prevent and treat illness in the future.
After people fill in a short online health questionnaire the device is able to reveal how your drinking, smoking, exercise and happiness levels compares with the rest of Yorkshire.
Some people are also invited to take part in exciting studies which test new ways of improving people’s health and wellbeing. ‘Research can find something new so your children don’t have to go through something you’ve been through’ the words of Anna Railton who is urging people to sign up for the Yorkshire Health Study after benefiting herself. Once people have joined they can find out how Yorkshire Fit they are by comparing the information they have provided to the rest of Yorkshire!
The research team who are based at ScHARR began recruitment in 2010 by inviting people through 43 GP practices in South Yorkshire. So far, over 30,000 people have signed up, making it Yorkshire’s largest health study. The target is 100,000 by the end of 2016. Once people have joined they will be invited to fill in a questionnaire every 2-3 years to see how their health has changed.
Dr Clare Relton, who leads the study said: “The Yorkshire Health Calculator is a fun and easy way to take part in health research and to think about your own health and wellbeing. All you have to do is fill in the Yorkshire Health Study questionnaire which takes just five minutes. You then get personalised information comparing your health to others of the same age and sex in the region. Information such as this is very valuable and the best news of all is that it is simple and accessible for all. Joining the study itself also has a variety of benefits.”
“The study is providing fantastic up-to- date information on the health status and health needs of people living in Yorkshire. This information is helping not only researchers but the NHS and local councils to make better decisions about healthcare for people in Yorkshire.”
“One of the biggest hurdles health researchers face is finding the right people to take part in their studies. This study provides a quick and efficient way of bringing together researchers with people interested in taking part in research.”
” Back in the 1950s a similar study helped identify the link between cigarette smoking and heart disease and cancer. By filling in the Yorkshire Health Study questionnaire you could help us make a similar breakthrough”.
So far, the ScHARR-based researchers have carried out studies looking at obesity, depression and diabetes. Their recent study on obesity led to researchers identifying six distinct groups of individuals who were obese; a finding which will help make obesity treatments more focused and effective in the future.
Professor Jon Nicholl CBE, Dean of ScHARR said: “The Yorkshire Health Study is a wonderful resource for conducting world leading research to help improve the health of people in the North”.
Dean Royles, Executive Director of Human Resources, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust said “The Yorkshire Health Study provides a great opportunity for people to take part in something really worthwhile and give something back. It can really help shape local NHS decision making and create an effective healthcare programme for the region”.
To find out more about the study go to www.yorkshirehealthstudy.org. To go direct to the health questionnaire visit www.yorkshirehealthquestionnaire.org. At the end of the questionnaire you can compare your health to other men and women in Yorkshire.