New £ for lb Toolkit launched to help NI workforce shed lbs and raise £££s for charity

Business in the Community Northern Ireland has launched a brand new £ for lb Toolkit which has been developed with the support of the Public Health Agency (PHA). The innovative Toolkit is designed to help employers throughout Northern Ireland support their employees to lose weight and adopt healthier lifestyles.

The £ for lb Challenge aims to encourage employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle by participating in a 12-week programme based on the NHS Choices model – an evidenced based approach to structured, sustainable and healthy weight loss. The challenge is supported by the Public Health Agency under the umbrella of the “Choose to Live Better” campaign.

The £ for lb 12-Week Challenge has been successfully delivered in workplaces for the past three consecutive years, with over 4,100 employees taking part since the challenge began, collectively losing a staggering 26,000 lbs with employers and employees matching every pound lost with a charitable donation. Over 1,620 employees took part last year, collectively losing a staggering 676 stone – the weight of an average killer whale!

The new Toolkit is designed to provide employers with all the necessary information and resources to roll out a 12-Week Weight Loss Challenge within their own place of work at a time that is suitable for them.

Amy Kieran, Workplace Programme Manager at Business in the Community said:

“We are delighted to launch the new £ for lb 12-Week Challenge Toolkit, which has been developed with the support of the Public Health Agency. Our £ for lb Challenge has been running for three years now, and is extremely popular both with employers and employees alike.

“To date, the initiative has helped employees from across Northern Ireland loose over 26,000 lb and we hope with the introduction of this flexible Toolkit, that we can further extend the reach of the programme. There are many benefits of having a healthier, fitter workforce and the £ for lb Challenge is a great way to help employees take the first steps towards improving their wellbeing.”

Caroline Bloomfield, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager, Public Health Agency, commented: “With so many people spending a considerable proportion of their day at work, it is vital that we take a ‘whole day’ approach to health and wellbeing. At this time of year, many aspire to lose weight and improve their health, but it can often be challenging to juggle the demands of work and life alongside weight-loss. The £ for lb Challenge is a great way to encourage both employers and employees to consider ways to improve their health, both in the workplace and beyond, and sustain those changes in the longer-term.”

Research shows that losing just 5-10% of your body weight, and keeping it off, will have an immediate positive effect on your health. It will reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, as well as boost your energy levels and mental wellbeing. For most people, this will be around 3-10kg or ½ to 1½ stone.

For more information and to sign up to take part, please visit www.bitcni.org.uk

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