St Helens Council encourages workers to get on their bikes

Cycling keeps you fit.

Cycling keeps you fit.

First published in News

ONE in every three adults in St Helens is over weight and one in every four can be classed as obese.

But St Helens Council’s New Year, New You campaign can whip the community into shape through healthy eating, exercise and weight control.

Employees are being encouraged to have a bowl of fruit on their desks and cycle to work on a pay for the bike as you ride it incentive scheme.

Director of Public Health Liz Gaulton said: “Busy lifestyles and 21st century environment often make it hard to make healthy choices and it is important that we help to make the healthy choice easy.”

The borough has become more bicycle and walker friendly with cycle training sessions improved parking for cyclists in retail centres and new walking routes have been developed in parks to encourage activity.

Councillor Gareth Cross said: “Reducing snacks and food and drink high in sugar will help, as will being generally more active, perhaps walking short distances rather than taking the bus or driving, and using stairs rather than a lift.

“We have seen successes in reducing the number of hot food takeaways in St Helens in the last couple of years with planning guidance. Fewer 5 year old children are overweight compared with 6 years ago. This has been against the trend nationally and in Merseyside.”

For easy, healthy family food see www.gov.uk/government/news/swap-while-you-shop-new-campaign-launched-to-get-families-making-healthy-swaps-in-january.

See www.nhs.uk/livewell/loseweight for activity advice and the Fresh Start free diet and exercise programme available at various venues in St Helens is available on 0300 300 0103 or email health.improvement@nhs.net

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