7 June 2017- Cotton research organisations join forces to ‘Get Healthy!’

Three of the key cotton research organisations in town have joined forces to get healthy as part of the NSW Healthy Town Challenge which commenced in February this year.

The Challenge targets Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Grenfell, Cowra and Orberon, five towns with high proportions of overweight people, and provides participants with free personal telephone health coaching over a 6 month period as part of the ‘Get Healthy!’ NSW Health service.

CSIRO Agriculture and Food’s Sharon Downes, and Cotton Research and Development Corporation’s Jane Trindall, saw an opportunity to extend the great support on offer as part of the Challenge to their workplaces by organising unofficial teams.

‘’I put out a challenge to my workmates at the Australian Cotton Research Institute to join a Get Healthy group and rallied 30 staff from CSIRO as well as NSW DPI” Sharon said.

“Anne Williams from HealthWISE came to the site for a Q&A about the program and mentioned that the CRDC also had a workplace group and after speaking to Jane we came up with the idea of joining forces on the resources and strategies that we were using at work”.

“The main aim of the initiative is to help people make permanent healthy changes to their lifestyles.” Anne said.

HealthWISE Narrabri have organised for the combined Get Healthy group to receive free informative talks from expert dieticians, exercise physiologists and psychologists on topics ranging from nutrition, motivation, exercise training programs, and stress management.

“We now have healthier options in our snack machine and pantry at work but the real benefits have been in getting people to think about their not-so-healthy habits and what drives those behaviours as a way to move toward their healthier goals”.

One of the participants said “I’ve been trying to lose weight for decades with limited success but with the help of my coach I’ve come up with ways to overcome some of the hurdles that have stopped me before.”

The group has a range of motivations for wanting to improve their health including weight loss, improved fitness, a better work-life balance and help breaking additions.

“The good news is that the ‘Get Healthy!’ NSW Health service is open to anyone at any time – not just as part of the HealthWISE Healthy Town Challenge” remarked Anne.

“We hope to keep our group going beyond the end of the official Challenge in August and with our successes inspire other workmates to join in” said Sharon.

“It’s logical that having healthy staff translates to a healthy business” said Jane, “so why not get together a group of people and start the journey together right now?”.

For more information contact Anne Williams at the HealthWISE Narrabri offices on 6792 5514.

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