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Campaign encourages nurses to take stock of their health

The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has launched the NurseStrong Campaign aimed at encouraging nurses to focus on their health and wellbeing.

CEO and Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward said that while nurses provide care to all communities in different sorts of settings on a daily basis, they often neglect themselves.

“As nurses we do not always give taking care of ourselves the same priority as taking care of others,” Ward said.

Research shows that nurses have lower levels of physical activity than average and many have lifestyle factors that place them at high risk for developing non-communicable diseases.

Non-communicable diseases are non-contagious that lifestyle factors can contribute to such as diabetes, hypertension and even cancer.

“Non-communicable diseases are now the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Australia,” she said.

The NurseStrong Campaign will see 1,000 nurses complete a free 12-week exercise and healthy eating program run by personal trainer Lauren Hannaford.

Ward will be completing the program herself and said the program is designed so nurses can take part anywhere and anytime of the day, taking into consideration shift work and long hours, which often deters people from exercising.

“For some, the benefits of this program will include weight loss, for others stress reduction, for others improved mental or physical health. The impact of leading a healthier lifestyle can be immense, for example bringing our blood pressure down can significantly reduce the chance of stroke or heart attack," she said.

Registrations for the NurseStrong Campaign are now open, with the program kicking off on 1 October.

We caught up with Ward to find out more about the campaign.

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