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Workplace fitness challenge is issued

You’ve heard it all before–eat well, exercise, don’t smoke.

Easier said than done, right? But what if where you worked helped make these healthy habits easy?

The Northwestern Health Unit is encouraging local workplaces to take the “Fit @ Work” challenge, which is being held as part of National Healthy Workplace Month that kicked off Monday (Sept. 29) and runs until Oct. 26.

The goal of the month is to bring awareness to employers and employees alike about what affects health at work, as well as the benefits that come from having a healthy workplace.

“The group challenge helped motivate people to get moving,” noted Kim LePine of Community Living, who participated in a similar challenge held in Fort Frances last year.

“I found that a lot of the people who participated in the challenge continued to be active after [it] was over,” she added. “The challenge helped develop a support amongst co-workers to encourage each other to be active.”

Megan Bale, a health educator with the local health unit who helped with the challenge, thought participation from local workplaces was great.

“I could see a difference when the workplace supported their employees to get involved,” she remarked.

Conditions at work can have a powerful effect on health. When conditions are good, work can provide security, social status, personal development, and self-esteem.

“Workplaces where the healthy choice is the easy choice are on the path to workplace health,” noted Shannon Robinson, health promotion co-ordinator at the Northwestern Health Unit.

“Healthy choices, along with occupational safety and a healthy organizational culture, can lead to lower absenteeism, improved staff morale, and more job satisfaction,” she said.

Is your workplace up to the challenge? Visit www.healthyworkplacemonth.ca to register or contact your local Northwestern Health Unit health educator to find out what is going on locally through the “HealthWorks” program.

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