More than 200 dedicated fat-fighters have shed 3,000lb – the equivalent of three fully-grown polar bears – during a post-Christmas weight-loss drive.
Thames Water teamed up with Slimming World to offer those wanting to fight the flab a 12-week programme designed to help them lose weight and take control of their health, wellbeing and happiness.
The initiative was sparked after the company’s Personal Medical Assessments (PMAs) showed around half of the workforce who volunteered for the free test was classed as being overweight.
Aimee Cain, occupational health and wellbeing manager at Thames Water, said: “Obesity is a national problem and our workforce is no exception. Extreme exercise plans and fad diets might give quick results, but they can’t be sustained. That’s why we decided to trial this free 12-week Slimming World membership to give our employees an opportunity to really change their lifestyle for the long term.
“We’re committed to supporting and improving the health and wellbeing of our employees and so it’s been fantastic to see so many people get involved and the results have been quite sensational.”
In total, the workers have lost a combined 214 stone in three months, with each person losing an average of 14lbs.
There have been a number of success stories, but the most successful slimmer was Lee King, who lost an astonishing four stone in just three months.
He said he would recommend the programme as it has “changed his life”, and added: “I've gone from a lazy lay-about, to someone who can't sit still. I now power walk five miles a day and row for 30 minutes.
“I'm eating so much healthier too”.
Paul Sharpe, partnerships manager at Slimming World, met several of the slimmers and praised Thames Water for recognising the role it can play in supporting employee wellbeing outside of the workplace.
He said: “It’s pleasing to see an employer taking this kind of holistic approach to health and wellbeing – it’s not just about taking care of people between the hours of 9-5, but providing opportunities for them to make real healthy lifestyle changes.”
Karl Simons, head of health, safety, security and wellbeing at Thames Water, added: “At an average rate of 14lbs per person, that makes Thames Water 3,000lbs lighter – simply unbelievable!
“Of course it’s not just about weight loss. Many of our slimmers have shared their personal stories with me and I’ve loved hearing about the resulting improvements in their general health, self-esteem and how they’ve also influenced the health and wellbeing of their friends and family in the process.”