Workers encouraged to kick-start battle of festive bulge

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 December, 2003, 12:00am

Employees are being urged to kick-start the Fitness First challenge at their companies to help boost the coffers of Operation Santa Claus.

The gym is encouraging companies to sign up their workers for a three-month get-fit contest - from January 15 to April 15 - hoping to raise $200,000 for the 12 beneficiaries in the annual appeal, which stands at $4,692,840.

Fitness First managing director Kent Richards said the response had been lacklustre so far, probably due to the holidays. To encourage action, employees can fill in a request form (on this page) and give it to their boss.

'Companies can easily have a more productive team if their employees are fit, and they will have greater team morale and fewer sick days,' Mr Richards said.

He said people would get free use of its seven fitness centres at weekends and be put on a fitness programme. 'Research has proven that if you have staff who are actively doing exercises, it will increase productivity,' he said.

Companies will each pay a $10,000 registration fee - which is tax deductible - to sign up as many employees as they wish before January 12. All fees must be paid by that date and will go to the appeal.

Participants will have their body fat measured and an average percentage for each firm calculated. The company with the highest percentage loss of body fat will win the challenge. E-mail for a registration form.