Seasonal wellbeing

Cold weather

The impact of cold weather on health is predictable and mostly preventable. Direct effects of winter weather include an increase in incidence of:

  • heart attacks
  • stroke
  • lung illnesses
  • flu
  • falls and injuries
  • hypothermia

Indirect effects of cold include mental health illnesses such as depression. Poorly maintained or badly ventilated boilers, cooking and heating appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

What you can do

Heating homes to at least 18°C (65°F) in winter poses minimal risk to the health of a sedentary person, wearing suitable clothing.

There is an existing recommendation to reduce sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Advice is that rooms babies sleep in should be heated to 16° to 20°C (61° to 68°F).

NHS Stay Well This Winter campaign pages

Winter Wrapped Up – Age UK

NHS England Severe Weather pages

GOV.UK Find ways to save energy in your home


Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant and last about a week. It can be caught all year round but is especially common in winter when it is known as seasonal flu.

Flu is not he same as the common cold. The symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer. Although most people feel better within a week or two, some people may need medical attention.

Protecting yourself and loved ones

The best way to be protected from flu is to get a flu vaccination.

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (catch it!)
  • bin used tissues as quickly as possible (bin it, kill it!)
  • wash your hands often with warm water and soap

Read NHS’s advice on avoiding and treating flu.


Keeping up to date with your booster shots will protect you from the worst effects of Covid-19.

Book your Covid-19 vaccination and booster.

Last updated on 06/03/2023