18% of our people are “optimists”.

This population closely matches the average of GM, with slightly more 35 to 44 yearS old and just as many “seldom heard” people.


When discussing what hinders or helps people to take charge of their health? Their conversation reveals four priorities:

    1. Provision of public health and social care information and services
    2. Personal resources – time and money
    3. Self-awareness, belief and confidence
    4. Facilities and the physical environment

We can create a “typical narrative” from their ideas, comments and votes in the online workshop too:

I feel healthy enough and I don’t feel a real need to improve my health.  I think people can’t take charge of their health because…

Provision of public health and social care information/services

There is not enough health and care support for people to improve their health. Furthermore, our education system doesn’t do enough to instil healthy habits in our children.


“We have an opportunity to instil a lifelong ‘habit’ of physical activity by making some simple ideas in school standard in every school for every child”


“The fact that Manchester has decided to cease smoking cessation support must have an impact on our population”



People are too busy and have tight budgets, so they can’t afford to live healthy lifestyles.


“Families can have such tight budgets that finding extra money to play football/netball gymnastics swimming can sometimes be impossible”


“I believe people struggle because of the day-to-day activities involved in working and family lives.  People don’t realise that you can have a pretty decent workout in just 30 minutes.”


Self-awareness, belief and confidence

People understand the negative effects of their unhealthy habits, but they lack the will power and confidence to do something about them. Some people try to change their unhealthy habits, but after failing a few times they give up and believe that they can’t do it.


“Children should be encouraged from a young age regardless of ability.  My son feels that he isn’t encouraged because he isn’t very good and this puts him off sporting activities.”


“I have never smoked, so I don’t know how hard it is to give up. However, I believe that unless someone WANTS to give up they will not do so.”


Facilities – environment

Our bad weather prevents people from doing exercise outdoors, which is cheaper than joining a gym. Furthermore, it is uncomfortable and sometimes unsafe to exercise outdoors in some areas of Greater Manchester.

“I felt uncomfortable running around the streets I lived as no-one seemed to exercise outside.”

“If you do not like attending gyms for whatever reason, trying to do simple, free exercise like cycling or walking or running is hampered by our bad weather.”

Interestingly, solutions offered by this population include:

>Introduce personal health passports

>Allocate more resources to offering mindfulness courses