OBESE adults in Belper are working towards healthier lifestyles, thanks to a scheme which links them with fitness classes.
Figures show that within a year 7,255 adults have been put in touch with the scheme run by NHS Derbyshire County.
After being referred through their GP, participants take part in a range of classes including those run at Belper Leisure Centre.
Out of the 7,255 referred to the 12-week programme, 5,278 started, with almost 3,000 exercising regularly at a leisure centre or in a community group on their doorstep for at least 12 weeks – over 40 per cent of the total number of people referred to the service.
Exercises undertaken by participants may include low impact aerobics, pilates, yoga, acquacise, chair-based exercises, swimming, walking, badminton, circuit training and bowling.
Since the scheme was launched 40 per cent have continued to use local leisure centre facilities, with 23 per cent taking out gym membership passes.
Instructors believe many more are also continuing to stay fit and healthy through local walking groups, cycling or using their own fitness equipment at home.
It is open to anyone registered with a GP in Derbyshire and who has one or more of the following conditions: Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 30, joint/mobility problems, respiratory problems, is at risk of stroke and heart diseases, or has a mental health issue.
James Creaghan, adult obesity coordinator for NHS Derbyshire County, said: “We’re delighted that our efforts to get people active by putting them in touch with their local leisure centre and community activities are starting to pay off.
“Going to a gym or leisure centre for the first time can be a daunting experience, but the beauty of this scheme is once people get started, they realise there are activities on offer that they enjoy doing and want to carry on with.
“It also gets them used to regular physical activity, encouraging them to continue using leisure centre facilities and adopt healthier lifestyles after they’ve completed the programme.”
The success of the scheme comes after statistics showed there had also been an improvement in the amount of young people who are overweight in the town.
Last week figures from the National Child Measurement programme showed that 16.2 per cent of primary school leavers are now classed as obese - compared to 18.4 per cent in the previous year.
For further information about the scheme contact James Creaghan on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01246 514112, or Sue Foster email@example.com or 01773 525000.
A film outlining how the programme works can be viewed online at http://www.activederbyshire.co.uk/health.