Hospital staff are off and walking for a healthier Bundy

THE NewsMail's Kick the Kilos walking competition starts tomorrow.

The NewsMail is urging Bundaberg residents and businesses to get on board the campaign to promote healthy life choices.

NewsMail editor Craig Warhurst said Bundaberg was up against all other towns in the ARM stable of newspapers to see which town can walk the most kilometres per capita.

"We are pretty keen for Bundy to win," Mr Warhurst said.

"But we need the community's and business help.

"Any business who gets their staff to sign on to the Strava app will get their photo featured in the NewsMail," Mr Warhurst said.

"We need as many Bundaberg people as possible to get behind the campaign."

The latest workplace behind Kick the Kilos is the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

The hospital has joined the campaign in an effort to encourage both its employees and the wider community to boost their exercise levels and overall well-being.

KEEPING ACTIVE: Tania Pitt, John Gamlin and Maree Itzstein are encouraging Bundaberg residents to join the kick the Kilos campaign.
KEEPING ACTIVE: Tania Pitt, John Gamlin and Maree Itzstein are encouraging Bundaberg residents to join the kick the Kilos campaign. Mike Knott

WBHHS chief executive Adrian Pennington said he felt passionate about the local health service playing a strong health promotion role and he was keen to see as many staff members as possible joining the community campaign and lacing up their walking shoes.

"As health professionals, we understand first hand why maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is so important," Mr Pennington said.

"We see high levels of chronic disease in our region, much of which is the result of sedentary lifestyles.

"We're seeing more and more people coming through our doors all the time, and that's not a trend we want to continue. In the nicest possible way, we want to keep people out of hospital and instead leading healthy lives.

"That's why I'll be encouraging our employees to support the Kick the Kilos campaign, and I'd encourage other Wide Bay businesses and organisations to do likewise."

Mr Pennington said with WBHHS covering the entire Wide Bay region, he wouldn't take sides between the Bundaberg NewsMail and Fraser Coast Chronicle teams - but he was more than happy for his staff to do so.

"My wish is for a healthier, happier Wide Bay region overall, so I'd just be happy to see the whole community incorporate more exercise and healthier eating into their weekly routines," he said.

"But I take my hat off to the NewsMail and Chronicle for introducing a competitive element to the campaign. Sometimes you need a bit of community spirit and friendly rivalry to galvanise people into action."



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