IPSWICH, once considered one of the fattest places in south-east Queensland, is fast becoming one of the fittest.
About three years ago a state-wide survey found 62.4% of Ipswich residents considered themselves either overweight or obese.
Fast-forward to 2013, and the community is now being praised by the Heart Foundation for its commitment to health and wellbeing.
The national charity organisation recently presented Ipswich City Council with a Healthy Community Award in recognition of its commitment to promoting a healthy and active city.
The foundation selected Ipswich for its Park Fit, A Breath of Fresh Air and Fit 4 Work programs, which support residents to increase their physical activity levels, improve their diets and quit smoking.
Health and Community Safety Committee chairman, councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the three initiatives had delivered exceptional results.
"Only a couple of years ago Ipswich had one of the highest incidences of obesity in the state," he said. "A recent report has now come back to show that we have improved significantly, with one of the biggest decreases in obesity in the state."
Cr Antoniolli said the council had taken a highly flexible and creative approach to developing healthy living programs that worked and that people enjoyed.
The Ipswich Hospital Foundation, which established Part Fit as part of its Fit4Life program, said the initiative used equipment in public parks to teach people to use the facilities for fitness. IHF communications co-ordinator Chelsea Rees said such ICC supported fitness activities were offered for a low cost, which was perhaps why they were popular.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale praised the commitment of Ipswich residents to their own health and wellbeing which made the achievement possible.
Fit 4 Life Activities
- Stoller Boot Camp, Friday 8.30am, Springfield Lakes Tennis Court
- Redbank Walking, Monday, 7am, Redbank Plaza
- Park Fit, Tuesday, 9am, Limestone Park
- Boxercise, Wednesday, 5.30pm, Lobley Park