Parkinson’s UK partners with 14 health charities and Sport England in a new campaign

We’ve partnered with 14 other leading health charities and Sport England to launch the We Are Undefeatable campaign - encouraging people with long-term health conditions to be active.

We Are Undefeatable

Parkinson’s UK is pleased to be a part of an inspiring new campaign - We Are Undefeatable. The campaign has been launched to support the one in four (15 million) people in England who live with one or more long-term health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Parkinson’s. 

The campaign recognises the unique barriers people with health conditions face. It aims to inspire, reassure and support people in their quest to be active by showing people living with a variety of conditions – both visible and invisible – on their own journeys. 

Even small amounts of physical activity and exercise can make a significant difference to overall health and wellbeing, and we know this is especially good for you if you have Parkinson’s.

It all helps

New research commissioned as part of the campaign reveals that the majority of people with a long-term health condition want to be active, and are aware of the health benefits, but don’t know where to start.

The research showed that:

  • 69% of people living with long-term health conditions would like to be more active
  • 66% say it would help manage or improve their condition, with improved mood and wellbeing seen as the biggest benefit (52%)
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) of people with a long-term health condition feared that physical activity would make their health issues worse and two in five (44%) would like more help and advice on how to be more active.

The survey of over 1,000 adults also revealed that people with long standing health concerns feel they face unique barriers. Over a third of people cited lack of energy as the main barrier to increasing physical activity, and over a quarter reported that the unpredictable nature of their long term health condition made it hard to commit to a routine.

We Are Undefeatable recognises these unique barriers and it is the first time a campaign has shown the emotional stories of men and women living with a variety of conditions getting active in ways that suit their needs.

#WeAreUndefeatable

The campaign will run across TV, radio and social media, encouraging people to visit www.weareundefeatable.co.uk, and to use the hashtag #WeAreUndefeatable across social media for inspiration and tips. Campaign support packs are also being distributed to every GP surgery and community pharmacy in England as part of a wider programme to support healthcare professionals to promote physical activity to their patients.

For people with Parkinson’s, everyone will be affected by it in different ways and this may have an impact on the type of physical activity you do. You can visit our ‘physical activity and exercise’ webpage to see what type of activity might be right for you and what’s available in your local area.

Support for the Campaign

Steve Ford, Chief Executive at Parkinson’s UK, said;

"People with Parkinson's frequently tell us that exercise is equally, if not more, important than their medication.  But just as the experience of living with any condition is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for people when it comes to keeping active. 

"At Parkinson's UK we are passionate about shattering the misconceptions about what is 'suitable' and 'unsuitable' exercise or physical activity for people living with Parkinson's. We offer tailored advice and support for all stages of the condition so that people feel empowered and inspired to take control and manage their symptoms.

"That's why we are excited to be part of this new campaign, working alongside other leading charities to engage everyone affected by a long-term health condition to get active and live well."

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of Sport England said;  

“You’re twice as likely to be inactive if you have a long-term health condition. We believe we can change that, because our research shows the majority of people with a condition would like to more active. That might be strengthening activities, walking, going to the gym or playing a sport. We are very proud to support our charity partners in delivering this new campaign because we know with the right support, sport and physical activity has the ability to change the lives of people living with long-term health conditions for the better.

“This campaign forms part of a longer-term drive by Sport England to change cultural and social norms around long-term health conditions and physical activity. We will continue to work with everyone from healthcare professionals, coaches, governing bodies, gym operators and even town planners to ensure that people with long-term health conditions feel able and supported to get active or play sport in whatever way suits them.”

Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Correspondent and Parkinson’s UK Supporter said;

"It’s really sad that people with long-term conditions feel their health is a barrier to getting active, because this absolutely does not have to be the case. As someone living with Parkinson’s, it’s become clear to me that staying active is the best way to make sure I manage my symptoms and keep positive. For me that ranges from walking the dog to a weekly Pilates class and the odd bike ride – and I’m keen to explore other activities. It is so important to find the activity that works best for you, be it yoga, dance, walking, swimming or cycling. It’s great to see this campaign kick-start a national movement, inspiring more of us to get active and live well."