THE first group of about 60 activators have been trained to help their colleagues take steps to a more active lifestyle.

They will play a key part in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's (NHSGGC) Active Staff Programme to encourage its 38,000 staff to become more physically active.

Activators are receiving full training and support, and benefits including free passes to local authority leisure services.

They will be promoting activity opportunities with colleagues and teams; organising on-site events; motivating "buddy" colleagues to join in activities and identifying new activities in workplaces.

The initial batch of eight activators attended a day course at New Stobhill Hospital, with more being rolled out over the next few months at acute sites and community health partnerships.

Chris Kelly, NHSGGC health improvement senior (physical activity), said: "The aim is to train our activators to come up with physical activity recommendations such as taking part in 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week.

"We want to reach staff who are inactive and the activators' role is to spread the word to colleagues. The training will also help them decide how best to support their peers in becoming active.

"For example some activators might hold roadshows, set up stalls in canteens or promote activity at team meetings."

Nicole Greer, a technical instructor working in forensic mental health at Leverndale Hospital, has discovered a new enthusiasm for physical activities.

She said: "I'm a walk leader, ran the Bupa women's 10k earlier this year, climbed Ben Lomond and joined a gym. If I can do all of this, then anyone can."

There are plans to develop a menu of activities across other sites ranging from easy exercise to higher impact activities.

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