Headlines: February 1st, 2010

Fitness trails are to be installed in two Welsh hospitals in a pilot scheme designed to promote healthy lifestyles for NHS staff and to enable them to set an example for patients. The Welsh Assembly Government is putting fifty thousand pounds into the project.

The Health Minister, Edwina Hart, announced that the trails would be developed in the grounds of Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny and Ysbyty Alltwen in Tremadog. They will have five or six fitness stations each of which will have a different piece of equipment such as a cross trainer or Tai Chi spinner.

The initiative follows the launch earlier this month of an Assembly Government plan to encourage people to become more physically active. Edwina Hart explained: “One of the aims of the plan is to develop a physical environment that makes it easier for people to choose to be more physically active. These fitness trails will provide NHS staff with the opportunity to improve and maintain their own health while setting a good example for patients and visitors.”

David Jenkins, Chairman of Aneurin Bevan Health Board, which includes Nevill Hall Hospital, said it could be difficult for staff working in hospitals to take time for exercise because of irregular shift patterns. He believed making equipment available on site would help them and would give a positive message to people visiting the hospital.