Employees accept the healthy lifestyle challenge

Weight loss challenge winner Luke Bannister (left) accepts a cheque from Dean Pinniger at AME Systems. Picture: PETER PICKERING

Weight loss challenge winner Luke Bannister (left) accepts a cheque from Dean Pinniger at AME Systems. Picture: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT - Three Ararat employees are now $1000 better off and several kilograms lighter after a 12 week weight loss challenge which took place at AME Systems, Ararat Rural City Council and A F Gason.

With almost 120 employees across the three organisations taking up the challenge, it wasn't just about the numbers. The challenge encouraged those involved to start making healthier lifestyle choices with the support of their fellow employees and their employers; and to reap the benefits of a healthier, happier lifestyle.

It was a close race at each of the workplaces, but of course there could only be one winner from each. Luke Bannister, from AME Systems shed an impressive 19 per cent of his body weight to claim the title that over 60 of his fellow employees were in contention for. Jason Yole from Gason dropped 15 per cent of his body weight to claim victory and the winner from Ararat Rural City (with the prize being fully funded from external grants) shed 11 per cent of their body weight.

This challenge, along with others, including the well-attended 'walk the lake' event held in March, are all part of a new Healthy Workplaces Network in Ararat. AME Systems, Ararat Rural City Council and Gason, along with Grampians Region YMCA, Ararat Medical Centre and East Grampians Health Service have committed to improving the health and wellbeing of their employees by signing up to the Healthy Together Workplace Achievement Program and meeting regularly to share information, resources and experiences on workplace health and wellbeing.

The Healthy Together Workplace Achievement Program guides workplaces in creating and sustaining healthy environments. These workplaces understand that a healthy work environment can have a multitude of benefits for employers and employees. The Achievement Program not only focuses on specific activities, but on creating a healthy organisational culture.

Healthy Together Victoria is a jointly funded initiative of the State Government of Victoria and the Australian Government. For further information on the Healthy Together Workplace Achievement Program or the Healthy Workplaces Network contact Jenna Gunnell, health promotion coordinator (workplaces), Healthy Together Grampians Goldfields at jennag@cgoldshire.vic.gov.au or 0407 052 165.

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