The start of a new year is always filled with hope – to be bigger, better, bolder in everything we do. 

It is right to be optimistic and think big – but there must be foundations already in place to build upon. 

What makes me so excited for Sheffield in 2018 is that so much has been put in place over the last few years, it means the next 12 months will be a time for seeing developments continue to grow and major initiatives come to fruition. 

A quick example; at Westfield Health we are working hard to ensure our health and wellbeing approach is grounded in insight, evaluation and fact – so we can always stay ahead for our customers. 

One of the partnership projects we have been working on with Sheffield Hallam University is the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) on the Olympic Legacy Park. 

We are fortunate to have two world class Universities with Sheffield Hallam for example supporting elite sport in terms of helping deliver marginal gains in performance at the very highest level.   

Our partnership with the AWRC provides us with an opportunity to transfer this learning from elite sport down to the wider population through innovative interventions in the workplace and at home.  This is no different to the concept of how car manufacturers transfer advanced learning from Formula 1 into our local car dealerships. 

Pace of life in the 21st century is creating more and more stress and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.  With Brexit upon us, it is essential for UK businesses to have a happy, healthy and productive workforce to ensure we are competitive as a nation.  As such I would like to see businesses put their people’s health at the heart of their business strategy as your health is very much your wealth at work as much as it is at home. 

We’re getting behind the AWRC because we feel it has never been more important to back pioneering healthcare research and revolutionise physical activity. Through our contribution, we can connect the AWRC with the community and support the research team in the development of new technology and innovations to improve the health and wellbeing of the population. 

For many years Sheffield has prided itself on being a sporting city – it goes without saying that football runs through the blood of many. Excuse the pun, but now is not the time to stand still. The AWRC will be a very visible presence on the Olympic Legacy Park that Sheffield is at the forefront – worldwide – in this area.  

We have come so far in a relatively short space of time that we must not be impatient. But we also shouldn’t be content with what we have achieved. There is much more we can do to improve the health and wellbeing of the public and 2018 is a great opportunity to take it to the next level. 

More from the ‘If you ask me’ series

‘If you ask me…’ with Alexis Krachai – View article

‘If you ask me…’ with Brenda Jordan – View article

‘If you ask me…’ with Jay Bhayani – View article

‘If you ask me….’ in a nutshell with Jill Theobald – View article

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