22 January 2015
Fold Housing Association, one of the provinces biggest employers, has signed up for Business in the Community's £ for lb 12 week challenge, committing to help their employees to lose weight.
Last year, over 800 people lost 1,390 inches from their waistlines. Comparatively, this was just longer that the height of the Albert Clock!
This year, thirty companies, including Fold, have signed up for this friendly challenge, which is being supported by the Public Health Agency and Westfield Health. It will involve at least 1,000 employees, with employers and employees matching every pound lost with a charitable donation.
Gillian Somerville, Fold's Director of HR & Corporate Services said, 'We are delighted with the response from staff to the £ for lb challenge. A significant number of staff have signed up to the challenge and this forms part of our wider Health and Wellbeing Programme Strategy.'
She added, 'The added bonus of the weight loss, besides feeling healthier, will be pounds donated by Fold to our corporate charity partner Alzheimer's Society NI.'
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive of the PHA explains: 'Obesity continues to be one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland. Its impacts are wide-ranging and the financial costs are high. It has been estimated that obesity and weight related disease costs the Northern Ireland economy £1million per day and the latest NI Health Survey stats show that aroundthree in five adults in Northern Ireland are either overweight or obese.
Taking part in the £ for lb challenge can set you on the path to better health, as better managing your weight can improve your activity levels, help combat against developing heart disease and contribute to better mental health.
Campaign Manager, Deborah McConnell, Business in the Community adds: 'Workplace as a setting has huge potential for beginning to tackle these issues. There are considerable benefits to the organisation by having a healthier, fitter and more engaged workforce. By helping employees begin to tackle their weight, responsible employers are contributing to overall societal benefits for Northern Ireland. Contributions to great local charities brings an added corporate responsibility bonus to the business.'
Lorraine Milne from Westfield Health explains: 'Last year, our challenge saw employees from 20 companies lose a whopping 6,645lbs in weight. This is a phenomenal achievement and for each pound lost, the person experienced benefits “ feeling lighter and fitter, having more energy, a buzz with their other colleagues who participated in the challenge and the boost needed to make long-term lifestyle changes. We hope that this year's participants experience similar success!''
The overall results will be revealed in May.
Pictured above: Andy Boal, Alzheimer's Society is hoping Fold's Stephen Green and Clare McKee will be on target in the£ for Lb challenge in a bid to stay healthy and lose weight.For every £ staff shed in the 12 week challenge Fold will donate £1 to Alzheimer's.