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Monday, 30th March 2015

UK: Health on the High Street

Source: Royal Society for Public Health (UK)

From the Introduction:

As the centre of a community, a location visited by all corners of society, from young and old, to the most and least deprived, the high street has a vital role to play in encouraging healthier lifestyles amongst the public. However, in many towns and cities, high streets are being overtaken by businesses with potentially damaging consequences for public health.

Making high streets a diverse place in which to have fun, and enhance health and wellbeing will make them a more attractive destination for the public, which in turn may help rejuvenate many. The nation’s high streets have huge potential to support the public’s health and wellbeing. As places for people to interact, high streets can play an important role in bringing people together and help foster a sense of community.

In providing destinations for people to visit, they can encourage walking or cycling, which in itself can support active lifestyles. High streets can be the home to a range of cultural venues and community activities that may enhance individual wellbeing, as well as the setting for a range of health-promoting activities and services, from pharmacies to health clubs.

But high streets can also be home to business activities which may undermine and potentially harm the public’s health.

In order to make our high streets as health promoting as possible, it is worth setting out what the characteristics of a healthy high street are.

+ Direct link to full report (PDF; 5.9 MB)

+ Interactive infographic


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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