While this winter may not have had its usual bite, temperatures are still low enough to cause health complications. To mitigate those, the NHS is launching a unique temperature-triggered digital bus shelter advertising campaign on Monday 10 February.
NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been working with Out of Home media and infrastructure company Clear Channel and production company Voodooh to deliver a dynamic digital advertising campaign that will remind people of the dangers posed by lower temperatures. Leeds-based agency Umpf was behind the creative and animation. The ads will also play on digital phone kiosks and free standing digital screens in the city.
When the temperature is between 1c-8c, the adverts will alert people with asthma that colder weather can have an effect on their health. The advert will remind people to carry their inhaler with them at all times as they could need it at any given point.
On those occasions when temperatures fall below 1c, the message will change to inform people that ice can form on pavements even if the temperature does not fall below 0c. This increases the risk of slips and falls and the potential need for health support for minor or even more serious injuries.
Throughout the four week campaign there will be a regular message asking people to be aware of any weather warnings and to be mindful of any vulnerable neighbours that might need a helping hand.
Dr Sarah Forbes, local GP and Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds CCG, said “This unique campaign is the first time we’ve seen temperature-triggered digital bus shelter advertising used to deliver key health messages. Many people will assume that with no snow on the ground and very few frosty mornings that the weather’s not cold or wintry enough to have an impact on their health. Research shows that even when the temperature is a relatively moderate 4c-8c*, there can be considerable health impacts especially for those with underlying health conditions particularly those that affect their breathing (respiratory conditions).
“We all know that the British weather is unpredictable and a weather warning is never too far away. It’s just as important that we think of others who may live nearby that struggle to get out and about especially during periods of extreme weather. So our campaign will also remind people to look out for any vulnerable neighbours.”
People in Leeds are being encouraged to sign up to receive weather alerts from the Met Office on its social media channels – Facebook (metoffice) or Twitter (@metoffice).
The impact of cold weather on health is predictable and mostly preventable. Direct effects of winter weather include an increase in incidence of:
- heart attack
- respiratory disease
- falls and injuries
Indirect effects of cold include mental health illnesses such as depression, and carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly maintained or poorly ventilated boilers, cooking and heating appliances and heating.
Who’s most at risk from cold weather?
Some people are more vulnerable to the effects of cold weather. This includes:
- people aged 65 and older
- babies and children under the age of 5
- people on a low income (so cannot afford heating)
- people who have a long-term health condition
- people with a disability
- pregnant women
- people who have a mental health condition
To keep on top of winter health, further information is available on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/