Photo: South West Hospital and Health Service Community Nutritionist Rohan Ballon taking a Walk at
Work with University of the Sunshine Coast student Jennifer Handley who is currently on
placement with the health service.

Want to feel stronger, more energetic and happier – well, forget the pills and potions and start
walking!

South West Hospital and Health Service Community Nutritionist Rohan Ballon said Walk at
Work Week from 15–19 October was a great opportunity for all South West residents to take the
first steps to a healthier life.

“Walk at Work Week is designed for everyone to celebrate and encourage walking in and
around the workplace,’’ he said.

“If your work involves a lot of sitting, take a few minutes out each hour or so just to get up and
walk around in the workplace. You will feel re-energised.

“If you don’t live far from work, try walking rather than taking the car.

“If you are too far to walk, what about parking the car a little further away than normal and
walking for 10 minutes or so to get that last short distance to work.

“Or what about getting a group of your work colleagues together and going for a short walk at
lunchtime?’’

Mr Ballon said walking was suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels and could be done
just about anywhere and was free.

“Walking helps you to reduce stress, be more alert, have a healthier body and build strong
relationships,’’ he said.

“It also helps you feel stronger, more energetic, happier and improves your overall quality and
enjoyment of life.’’

Mr Ballon said if walking became a regular activity, participants also could experience the
following benefits:

  • Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Manage weight, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Prevent and control diabetes
  • Reduce your risk of developing some cancers
  • Maintain your bone density
  • Improved balance and coordination.

Mr Ballon said a range of wearable technology such as fitness trackers and step counters could
be used to measure how many steps you took in a day and how much energy you expended.

“If you don’t have access to this technology, the average person walks at a pace of about 100
steps a minute, so you can just add up your minutes of walking to work out how many steps you
have taken’’ he said.

Mr Ballon said South West HHS staff throughout the region also would be participating in
various Walk at Work activities during the week and he encouraged all members of the
community to do so also.

“We hope the habits our staff and residents throughout the South West might develop during
the week will go on to become a permanent part of their healthier lives,’’ he said.

Walk at Work Week is an initiative of Queensland Walks in conjunction with Heart Foundation
Walking (Queensland) and 10,000 Steps.

• Further information about Walk at Work Week is available at:
https://qorf.org.au/whats-on/walk-work-week/

ENDS

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au