Rocherlea Men’s and Community Shed members test out new fitness equipment
MAY 21 2019 - 12:00PM
Rocherlea Men's and Community Shed members test out new fitness equipment
By Jessica Willard
For Rocherlea Men's and Community Shed member Richard Bowerman, staying physically fit wasn't always a priority.
But, after a series of medical scares he decided to make it one.
The 55-year-old was among a number of community members who benefited from a circuit session with Active Launceston on Monday.
RELATED: The Launceston program making an impact on physical inactivity
The second in a series of sessions, it comes as part of the latest Active Launceston project to install new fitness equipment in the community.
Made possible through the federal government's Stronger Communities Programme, Mr Bowerman said there were many people who would benefit from the equipment.
"Our youngest member at the shed is in his 40s, our oldest is in his late-70s. This has given them a place where they can exercise, where they feel comfortable and supported," he said.
"It gives people access to fitness equipment, they wouldn't normally have had access to.
"Gym membership is not cheap, and this provides an incentive for different groups in the Northern Suburbs to become more active.
"It's not just for the Men's Shed, it's something that will benefit the whole community."
Participating in regular physical activity has been found to have a significant impact on a person's overall wellness.
However, in Tasmania about 70 per cent of adults are not active enough, with people from lower social or economic circumstances also at a greater risk of poor health outcomes.
The Northern Suburbs have been identified as having higher than average Tasmanian rates of diabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese and physical inactivity, along with higher rates of potentially preventable hospitalisations.
Active Launceston founder and Healthy Tasmania managing director Lucy Byrne said after community consultation, they were able to find out exactly what equipment would best suit the group's needs, to help them become more active.
"This is an exciting program for us, as it is the first time Active Launceston has provided equipment like this," she said.
"The main point is that this is about removing barriers for people to participate in physical activity, in a place where they feel safe and comfortable.
"There is already talk of this evolving into a social activity, with members coming together to exercise and then having a coffee.
"So it is encouraging a connection to community and building social connections as well."
This article first appeared in The Examiner newspaper here
Picture Caption - Rocherlea Shed member Richard Bowerman, Northern Suburbs Community Centre general manager Denise Delphin and Healthy Tasmania's Lucy Byrne, test out some of the new equipment. Picture: Paul Scambler