Health guide aims to keep people ‘fit to farm’

A new edition of a popular health guide aimed at farmers will be launched at the 2013 Great Yorkshire Show.

The updated and revised Fit for Farming booklet has been put together by the Yorkshire Rural Support Network, supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, and is aimed at enabling farmers to “age well.”

It combines practical information about symptoms, with advice and where to find help and is illustrated by cartoonist, Henry Brewis.

“The most valuable part of a farm is the people: without those hands working to feed the nation we all would be in a very sorry state,” comments Professor Alan White of the Centre for Men’s Health at Leeds Metropolitan University in his foreword.

“Any illness impacts on a family farming business, with the knock-on effects potentially travelling through the food supply chain.”

Although farmers are living 10 years longer than 50 years ago, with many expected to live into their 80s, many prefer to hide rather than tackle health problems, he says.

“Farming people should be able to make their own health a priority. We need a vibrant, creative and energetic UK farming community as we operate in global markets to feed a growing world population. Good health will be at the centre of success. It is essential that we are all fit to farm.”

In addition to the information in the original booklet published in 2010, the new edition has been expanded to include eye care, cancers, mental health, sex information, and dementia.

Kate Dale, Co-ordinator for the Network, said: “The value of the booklet is already proven, in that we distributed around 35,000 of the first edition. This new version means everything is totally up to date, and hopefully will find its way into farmhouses up and down the region.

“The Network is particularly grateful to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, the Livestock Auctioneers Association and The Farming Life Centre in Derbyshire for their support.”

Some 3,000 booklets have been printed. Copies are available at the Great Yorkshire Show, which runs from 9-11 July, on the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution stand (Avenue O, Stand 202) and at the Farming Community Network stand (Avenue Q, Stand 189).

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