why health and prevention

As defined by World Health Organisation (WHO), health is a "State of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

It can also be defined as the body’s ability to adapt to the challenges in our lives and potential changes in the environment we live in.

Staying healthy, however, is not a matter of wishful thinking or luck. It’s linked to the lifestyle choices adopted throughout our lives that cumulatively influence our long-term and future health management.

The sooner preventative steps are taken; the better the outcomes. What can help...

  • Making informed choices in our lifestyles, eating a balanced diet, body weight control and being proactive in the process of health, can help to reduce your risk factors that lead to development of ill health.
  • Reducing the risk factors can help you prevent or minimise your chances of developing more complex health problems. That can have a significant influence on your long-term quality of life.
  • Early focus on prevention can enable you to remain in control over your choices for health and wellbeing for much longer.

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Types of prevention:

  • Primary prevention aims to reduce the risk factors that lead to ill health through encouragement of healthier lifestyles, better food choices, weight control and proactive approach to coping with daily challenges.
  • Secondary prevention aims to enable individuals with long-term conditions to reduce the impact of functional limitations on their lifestyle through development of preventative strategies for optimum health and wellbeing, alongside conventional medical treatment.

Chronic pain can affect all aspects of a person’s life. It is frequently linked with weakness, fatigue, depression, loss of confidence and lost control. These factors trigger feelings of fear, anxiety, and anger, and leads to negative changes in an individual’s lifestyle. Their inactivity leads to weight gain and dietary imbalances, which are strongly connected to chronic pain and long-term conditions such as in arthritis, type 2 diabetes, asthma, hypertension or circulatory problems. Those affected, find it extremely difficult to lead an active lifestyle. The result is prolonged immobility, disuse of muscles, and functional impairment; leading to further health problems.

What can help

People who are affected by chronic conditions are encouraged to develop their own functional potential, and thus, cope better with limitations, and become more proactive and confident in making informed choices in their lives.

Educational support enables them to attain the necessary knowledge and skills that help them to become active participants in their own care. That, in turn, has a significant impact on the quality of their lives and developmental experience as part of their long-term health and wellbeing.


There is increasing awareness among health professionals and patients of the benefits of preventative care strategies and an understanding that, often, prevention is better than the cure. As a result, preventative interventions are gaining traction among both health services and policy makers keen to reduce the economic and social impact of an ageing population.

Many older people are living with more than one chronic condition, which has an impact on their lives, and is often the cause of disability. If not managed successfully, it will continue to increase the challenge to the health and social care systems.

Staying healthy, however, is not a matter of wishful thinking or luck. It’s linked to the lifestyle choices adopted throughout our lives that cumulatively influence our long-term and future health.

Most importantly, the sooner preventative steps are taken; the better the outcomes. Furthermore, the role of the healthcare providers in ensuring early referrals of their patients/clients to the specific-target health promotion courses is paramount, to prevent worsening health.

Early referrals to the service can enable people with long-term conditions to remain in control over their limitations, ensure informed choices, and that they remain connected to their community, which improves the quality of their lives.

Our work continues to make a significant contribution towards the development of an integrated model of health and preventative care that is based on building people’s capacity to make healthier decisions in the context of their everyday life and taking greater responsibility for their choices; resulting in improved wellbeing and an increased chance of living independently, for longer.

What our clients are saying...

"Educational and personalised support at this activity makes a real change in our lives. That helps us to become proactive again in the process of managing the symptoms of long-term conditions and taking control over our choices in daily life. That also enables us to maintain the quality of our lives and remain independent."

Group activity participants, East London

"I have been attending the service for over 10 years and it keeps me mobile despite of the history of lower back pain and arthritic knee. I enjoy my allotment and like to be active… It helps me to focus on the maintenance of my optimum abilities rather than getting depressed not being able to do what I used to … This keeps my mind and body healthy and prevents the onset of depression."

Harold, over 70, East London

"I have participated in the programme for 3 years and it proved very beneficial to me, as I had severe arthritis in both of my knees. With personalised support and functional skills training I could walk longer distances than before, and lost some weight which reduced the stress to my joints. Later, following both knees replacement surgery, I restored my independence remarkably soon due to the gained skills and relevant knowledge, necessary in speedy recovery. I have maintained active lifestyle and enjoy supporting other people with chronic conditions to become in better control over the symptoms; before the illness takes control over their lives."

Lucy, 70, East London

"I have a long history of chronic conditions which affected my lifestyle and impaired mobility. This service has enabled me to remain active in my personal daily life, and helped me to support other disabled people in development of better coping skills. The gained confidence has motivated me to run a self-managing group for people with disabilities in the local community. Our members continue to testify to a positive influence of the activity on the quality of their lives and independence. The gained outcomes have provided substantial evidence over the years of the efficient and cost-effective ways to enable people with disabilities to become active participants in their own care, alongside their medical treatments."

Julie, 68, Havering

Participants’ names have been changed to ensure their confidentiality.