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Health Department gets healthy.

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Media Release

Senator the Hon Kay Patterson Minister for Health and Ageing

10th April 2003,


A new program aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of staff at the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing is being launched today by Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Kay Patterson and Minister for Ageing, Kevin Andrews.

Secretary for the Department of Health and Ageing, Jane Halton, says the ‘10K A Day’ Program is about encouraging staff to become more active while creating a workplace environment that supports physical activity as an integral part of people’s lives.

"10K represents 10,000 steps (approximately 8kms), which is the recommended level of daily physical activity for achieving and maintaining good health and well being," Ms Halton said.

"I am very supportive of this program because I believe that people working in the Department of Health and Ageing should aim to be healthy.

"For my staff, I encourage a balance between work and other life responsibilities including family, recreation and physical activity. A good mix of these can help combat preventable lifestyle diseases, including obesity, which unfortunately are on the increase in Australia.

"I believe a program of this kind is ground-breaking, especially for a big organisation like the Department of Health and Ageing, and I am proud to be involved with an initiative that helps our people to live a healthier lifestyle," she said.

As part of the program, pedometers will be issued to interested staff to record the number of steps they take in any given day, and those involved will be encouraged to identify ways to define and achieve individually realistic goals for gradually increasing their daily physical activity. Staff in all offices around the country will be invited to participate in the program and an evaluation will be conducted to determine its effectiveness and effect on staff.

"Part of our role as the Health Department is to encourage Australians to maintain good health and wellbeing and what better way is there than to lead by example," Ms Halton said.

Media Contact: Toni McLennan, Public Affairs, Department of Health and Ageing, Phone (02) 62895216 or 0402 337


Media Note:

Media are invited to the ‘10K A Day’ launch being held at the lawn area between the Alexander and Albemarle Buildings, Furzer Street, Woden at 9.30am on Thursday, 10 April.

After the launch Jane Halton will lead Minister Patterson, Minister Andrews and staff on a 15 minute walk.