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Having access to fitness facilities and classes in her workplace has helped Doreen Logan improve her health and avoid a major operation.

The 56-year-old, Catering Unit Manager, from Falkirk, is just one of the many employees at St Mungo’s High School benefitting from a range of fitness classes organised to improve their health and wellbeing. Staff also have access to the school gym and swimming pool.

Doreen, an employee of the Council for the past 22 years, has been based at St Mungo’s since 2009, and believes she wouldn’t be as fit if she didn’t have that access.

She said: “I know I wouldn’t travel to a gym offsite once I got home from work so being able to attend the classes and use the pool is a real bonus.”

For Doreen, her fitness journey began after tearing the meniscus in her knee three years ago. Following surgery she had two options - strengthen her knee muscles or get her knee replaced.

“Exercise was very new to me,” she said. “Luckily the school had just started offering yoga and Pilates for staff. I joined to see if it would help and swam in the school pool - and I’ve kept at it. I’m amazed at the difference it has made to my health. I am fitter, more energetic and I no longer need a major operation.”

One thing that has helped Doreen keep fit is the support and encouragement she’s had from her colleagues and her Line Manager.

She said: “In the early days I sometimes didn’t feel like being active, but my Line Manager encouraged and motivated me to continue. As a result, she’s had to get me smaller uniforms! I now try to encourage my staff to try a taster session and reap the benefits.” 

But keeping fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to attend classes or dive into a pool. As Michael Durrington, Senior Health, Safety & Care Adviser explains, factoring in small changes to your lifestyle can bring benefits.

He said: “Our Wellbeing Survey highlighted that of those who responded only 20% meet the current recommended weekly physical activity levels – that needs to change, and the first step is for employees to make a conscious decision to improve their fitness and in turn reap the physical and mental benefits.

“Going to a fitness class can seem daunting to some but simply taking the stairs instead of the lift, building in time to walk to meetings or setting up a walking meeting are easy ways to kick start your fitness journey. Another is to ask a colleague to go for a lunchtime walk, as exercising with someone else is a great motivator and increases your chances of sticking to your plan.”