Banana grower Phillip White, Tully, congratulates Kathy White, who overcame an injury to win the individual prize within the farm’s 10,000 Steps Challenge. THE term ‘being run off your feet’ is apt when it comes to farming.
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For two Queensland farms, lifting feet traffic has been part of a challenge to improve staff wellbeing with a healthy dose of competition thrown in.

Banana growers AG White Pty Ltd and S Lowe & Sons took part in the 10,000 Steps Challenge as part of the Live Well Farm Well Program.

The challenges, which encourage people to get moving, pitted staff and management against each other at the properties.

Participants, who wore pedometers to monitor their steps, are already seeing the fruits (pun intended) of their efforts.

The challenges were a fun but competitive way to encourage people to walk more at work and at home.

For AG White Pty Ltd, Kathy White overcame an injury to come out on top, while at S Lowe & Sons it was a team – Hot Young Chicks – who took out the top gong.

Hot Young Chicks featured the Muller sisters, Melissa, Amanda and Rachel, as well as Latasha Holdel, Charlie Bachman, Holly Freeman and Ronald Meibusch.

The winning team racked up an impressive 2,119,813 steps on their way to walking 1700 kilometres – or the length of the Bruce Highway – over the four-week challenge.

S Lowe & Sons also crowned an individual winner, Mal Muller from the staff team Malcolm’s Mob, who walked 498,868, or 400km, during the challenge.

Both farm owners said they believe the Live Well Farm Well program is contributing to a healthier and more productive workforce.

Staff are greatest assetPhillip White, owner of the 526-hectare Cavendish banana farm in the Tully region, said he got the farm involved in the program because a healthy workforce is a happy and productive workforce.

Over at S Lowe & Sons, owner Steven Lowe provided healthy cookbooks and sunglasses to the winners.

Mr Lowe signed his farm up for Live Well Farm Well because he said his staff are his greatest asset and their good health is great for morale.

Live Well Farm Well is a pilot project being rolled out by Growcom and Diabetes Queensland in the Cassowary Coast region, focusing on practical ways rural workplaces can achieve simple health improvements and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Live Well Farm Well is funded by the Queensland Government as part of the ‘Healthier, Happier, Workplaces’ initiative.

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