27 May 2016
Fold Housing Association was one of 36 companies across Northern Ireland who supported over 1,620 employees to tackle their weight and change their lifestyle through Business in the Community’s £ for lb 12 week Challenge.
Collectively, the employees lost 9,467 lbs (676 stone) – this equates to the weight of 52 average-sized UK men, or more than the weight of the average killer whale! In total, participants lost 1,509 waist inches which is almost the same height as Victoria Square.
The £ for lb 12 Week Challenge is a work-based weight loss programme that aims to encourage employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The Challenge – which is currently in its third year – is supported by Westfield Health and the Public Health Agency (PHA).
Fiona Campbell, HR Manager said, “We are delighted that many of the Fold team signed up for £ for lb this year. The staff lost an amazing 88lbs. This is the 2nd year we have participated and we found that staff were looking forward to taking part and valued the support we were able to provide through the programme.
She added, “As a result, we raised £250 for our corporate charity partner Alzheimer’s Society and one of the team, Andre Robinson, won the Most Inspirational Person Award as part of the challenge.”
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael McBride offered his support for the scheme, saying: “This engaging programme is not just about obesity or trying to lose weight. The £ for lb 12 Week Challenge helps focus people’s minds on participating in more physical activity and eating a healthier, balanced diet. It provides opportunities to build new social relationships and to harness the support of like-minded people. This in turn can be reflected back into the working environment with improved concentration and communication amongst staff.
“The programme can motivate people to learn new skills in the kitchen, to try new foods and to make healthier and more nutritious decisions. It can inspire new walking routes for groups, or encourage people to try out different kinds of sport or leisure activities. Vitally, what has been learnt in the workplace can also be brought home into the family environment, where the Challenge can continue.”
Amy Kieran from Business in the Community added: “The average employee spends 70% of their waking hours in the workplace, making it the ideal setting to encourage healthy behaviours and promote positive lifestyle choices. With one out of four adults in Northern Ireland now considered obese, it is vital that employers take steps to help address the issue. Prioritising health and wellbeing in the workplace has considerable benefits for both employees and employers, with improved morale and increased productivity just two valuable outcomes.
“The ‘£ for lb Challenge’ is not a short-term fix – it aims to make an impact beyond the 12 weeks of the programme, inspiring employees to make positive and sustainable long-term changes that benefit their own health and wellbeing and that of their families and friends. The support of both the Public Health Agency and Westfield Health has been key in ensuring the continued success of this initiative.”
Pictured above: Fold's Andre Robinson who scooped the Most Inspirational Award for encouraging staff to stay the course and complete the 12 week challenge.