Why does lifestyle matter?

The importance of lifestyle factors in promoting health and preventing disease have become increasingly well recognised in recent years with national papers like the NHS Long term Plan [1] and updates to NICE guidance [2] reflecting this. Research has reinforced the role of lifestyle-related risk factors for conditions like dementia [3], heart disease [4] and diabetes [5], and policy now advocates for individuals to support their own health and self-manage their conditions [6] by making positive changes to their movement habits, nutrition, stress management, sleep, and relationships [7] [8] [9].

Growing medical appreciation for lifestyle factors

There is a growing medical appreciation for lifestyle factors as an important part of treatment and management of long term conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), helping maintain or improve health, reduce comorbidities and optimise treatment [10]

Promoting self-management

There is a positive message that this aspect of management gives to someone at the point of diagnosis or any time after. That message, that they personally have control over the way they experience their condition, can change their perception and give them hope. This in turn can promote self-management [11], improving their quality of life and reducing the burden on healthcare services [12].


Receive updates from Overcoming MS via our newsletter to give you the latest tips to share with your patients here

Dr Jonathan White talks about Overcoming MS

Watch Dr Jonathan White speak about why he thinks you should recommend Overcoming MS to your patients.

Dr Andrea Stennett talks about the importance of healthy lifestyle for people with MS

Watch Dr Andrea Stennett explain why healthy lifestyle behaviours matter for people with MS.

Find out more

What’s the evidence?

Read about the evidence on why lifestyle specifically impacts people with MS.

How can we support you?

Find out about how we can support you and your patients.

NEU research

The Neuroepidemiology Unit (NEU) at the University of Melbourne conducts ongoing research into the efficacy of the Overcoming MS Program.