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City workers urged to get physical

MORE time working behind a desk and less time at play is yet another of the negative effects of our increasingly technological world.

Put simply, we are becoming overweight and unfit.

Recognising the long-term effects of such a decline in general fitness, the State Government has launched a team of cyclists to get the fitness message out to city workers.

Health Department of WA health promotions marketing manager Meg Berry said the $400,000 public health campaign launched last week was part of a 10-year plan to increase the physical activity of people by 5 per cent.

The Health Department has created a new area dedicated to physical activity within the health promotions area.

A preventative approach to health care underpins the Government’s commitment to healthcare promotion.

The benefits are obvious for a health care system that is stretched just taking care of the emergency patients.

The find thirty television campaign and supporting activities have spearheaded the communi-cation strategy for the new department.

In the city, the Health Department of WA is working with a couple of bicycle courier companies to spread the word on fitness all over the city.

The couriers are wearing t-shirts brandished with the message: ‘I’ve had my 30 minutes of exercise already’.

“We’re using bicycle couriers because they’re incorporating physical activity in their everyday lives,” Ms Berry said.

“It’s about targeting adults that are insufficiently active, and that could be business people in the city.

“Across the campaign we are looking at different communi-cations to target different groups in each demographic.”

A series of television commercials has been developed, each with a specific demographic focus.

The television spots have been created to help people capitalise on the times of the day when they are physically active, from gardening to dancing along with the Wiggles with the kids.

“303 came up with the idea for the bicycle couriers. They’re

(303) known for their innovative approach to marketing,” Ms Berry said.

Bring and Mercury, both owned by CTI Logistics, are the two courier companies involved in the marketing push.

“I think we’ve got the whole fleet in the t-shirts, it’s about 20 cyclists but they seem to cover a lot of ground,” Ms Berry said.

It doesn’t stop with couriers, though. The marketing assault continues inside city buildings, with messages on lifts reminding office workers about the benefits of using the stairs, messages on boom gates suggesting commuters park a little further away so as to benefit from the longer walk.

It’s a real cross-departmental push to get people a little bit more active and, hopefully, avoid some of the ailments that accompany a sedentary life.

Even the city train station has a role to play, with stickers on the platform suggesting commuters stroll up and down the station instead of sitting while they wait for the train.

The guerilla marketing strategy is also a way for the Government to maximise its advertising spend.

“$400,000 seems like a large sum of money but we’ve tried to get as much money into the television campaign as possible,” Ms Berry said.

“The idea is just to get people to see that it’s easy to incorporate activity into their day.”

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