That’s a tasty way to get fit

Walkers Crisp Factory staff (front left to right) Lesley Bates, John Jones, Craig Norman, Anabelle Lannom, Trevor Harle and Mark Anderson with the Stay Active awards presnted to them by (rear left to right) Joanne Abbott (event co-ordinator), Carl Higgins (peterlee leisure centre), Tracey Foster (factory manager), John Bowden (senior manafacturing director) and Justine Green (occupational health nurse)
Walkers Crisp Factory staff (front left to right) Lesley Bates, John Jones, Craig Norman, Anabelle Lannom, Trevor Harle and Mark Anderson with the Stay Active awards presnted to them by (rear left to right) Joanne Abbott (event co-ordinator), Carl Higgins (peterlee leisure centre), Tracey Foster (factory manager), John Bowden (senior manafacturing director) and Justine Green (occupational health nurse)

WHEN it came to the crunch, these workers proved they had what it takes to get fit.

More than 40 staff at a Peterlee company agreed to take part in a challenge called Stay Active.

It involved the employees at Walkers in Peterlee taking part in an initiative designed to encourage people to get active and participate in regular physical activity.

It proved such a success that it is set to return – and in an even bigger format than the first time.

Walkers is part of the Pepsico organisation and the company’s Peterlee participants began the challenge three months ago. The results have been very impressive, say bosses.

The Stay Active Challenge is a fun, team competition in which people are challenged to increase their activity levels as much as possible.

Any activity counts whether it is walking the dog or cycling to work.

Gardening, going shopping and all sorts of sport count and the team with the greatest percentage increase wins - but the percentage factor means everyone starts with an equal chance.

“The results were fantastic,” said occupational health nurse Justine Green. “Of those that participated, 76.7 per cent increased their physical activity, which is way beyond initial expectations.”

But she added: “This is only the start though. The success we have seen this year means that we hope to repeat the initiative in 2014.”

And Justine is hoping the project will reach out to even more people.

She said the aim was to “extend its capacity to open it up to more employees.”

The Stay Active project was held in partnership with IGlobal Wellness. It saw employees wear small devices, known as iams (interactive activity monitor), to gauge their physical activity over an 11 week period.