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Less than half of NHS Wales staff complete Champions for Health campaign

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A campaign to encourage NHS Wales staff to lead healthier lives has resulted in fewer than half of those who signed up, completing the six-month programme.

More than 1,300 signed up to Champions for Health, but only 456 were 'actively engaged' throughout the six-month pilot project.

The Champions for Health campaign recruited staff from across NHS Wales and encouraged them to choose two healthy lifestyle changes that they are prepared to commit to improve. Participants chose from drink safely; take regular exercise; eat healthily; stop smoking; or work toward a healthy weight.

Initial results from individuals who have recorded more than six weeks' progress in the top three selected challenges show that 332 staff achieved a combined total of 3,600 weeks of exercising 150 minutes or more; of the 302 people who committed to working towards a healthy weight, 52 achieved their goal, with 250 making progress towards a healthy BMI range; and about 120 people signed up to eat healthily, eating more than 58,000 portions of fruit and vegetables between them. Half managed to eat five portions a day for 52 days or more.

Wales' chief medical officer said it showed the challenges involved in improving health across the nation.

The campaign was designed to encourage NHS staff from across Wales to become healthier and encourage their patients and the public to do the same, in the wake of the Olympic Games in 2012, NHS Wales' staff were asked to take up the baton and sign up to a six month challenge to improve their health.

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