Why a social movement? A whole systems approach to increasing physical activity in Oxfordshire
Posted: Tue, 31 Jan 2023 20:57 by Miss Kim Lillie
Oxfordshire on the Move is a new social movement for Oxfordshire, bringing together residents, communities, organisations, schools and businesses to help tackle health inequalities and empower people in most need to increase their activity. But why a social movement, and what difference can Oxfordshire on the Move make?
Why a social movement?
- Everything is connected, change in one place needs changes elsewhere. The behaviours needed to increase physical activity cannot be addressed by individual programmes or organisations working alone, they need to be encouraged and supported in a joined-up way across the system - and this is where Oxfordshire on the Move comes in.
- The county-wide, collaborative YouMove and Move Together programmes show what can be done when many organisations work together. By bringing together multiple organisations and creating energy and drive around our four collective ambitions, we can take a whole systems approach to tackling inactivity and to addressing embedded inequalities.
- The need for collaborative, distributed leadership. We will need the active support of leaders across sectors and at all levels to adopt collaborative approaches to leadership thinking beyond their own organisation. Ultimately, we need to work together as part of a social movement where everyone makes it their mission to get others moving.
- The benefits of collective action reach beyond physical activity too. When we adopt a system change approach to tackle inactivity, we can also contribute to other problems too - collectively creating a better place for everyone to live.
- Inactivity and inequalities are inextricably linked. The barriers created by social inequalities make it harder for people to be active. Furthermore, we know that being more active and engaging with sporting and other positive activities can improve well-being.
If we are to fight inactivity, we need to tackle inequality.
What difference can Oxfordshire on the Move make?
- Oxfordshire on the Move has brought together 90 organisations across the county, representing 11 different sectors - all working collectively together to improve our county's health and wellbeing through physical activity. This new social movement has already helped to connect many organisations who previously had not worked together before, but can now support one another towards the four collective ambitions.
- By working together and taking actions towards the four ambitions, more children from priority neighbourhoods will be able to learn to swim and ride a bike; more families can enjoy being active together; we can help older people and those with long term health conditions move more and feel less isolated; health and social care professionals working across multiple sectors can access training about the importance of physical activity; and so much more.
- Oxfordshire on the Move has the power to not only achieve change on the ground, where its needed most - but to strengthen the way we work together, too. By joining up systems, connecting organisations and building on the superb energy, skills, people and spaces that already exist in Oxfordshire, we can make a lasting difference.