Fitness firm launches commmunity initiative to tackle obesity

Councillor Bill Rose using the rowing machine at DS Fitness Experience.

Councillor Bill Rose using the rowing machine at DS Fitness Experience. - Credit: Archant

A fitness firm based at Witham is offering a free class every week to help combat obesity problems in the area.

MP Priti Patel with David Stead from DS Fitness Experience.

MP Priti Patel with David Stead from DS Fitness Experience. - Credit: Archant

DS Fitness Experience in Newlands Shopping Centre, which launched the community initiative last week, said it hoped to offer a structured environment for people to train.

To sign up, residents fill out a health and safety form and pay a one-off £5 membership card fee, and can attend one class a week for free, with no monthly costs for as long as they wish. The initiative follows figures showing one in four adults in the Witham area were classified as obese, and more than 8% were registered as diabetic – both higher than the national average. Club manager Mark Jones said: “This is purely a non-commercial community initiative, with no strings attached and all we ask is for a £5 donation to cover the cost of the membership cards. We are just looking to promote fitness to combat these rising health problems in our area.”

The survey also recognised that local residents felt the cost of gym memberships and exercise classes in the area were the main barriers to them improving their general health.

Lucy Mitchell, director at NewRiver Retail, which owns the Newlands Shopping Centre, described the initiative as “fantastic and extremely generous”.


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“More needs to be done in the local area to help tackle health problems and I hope that many residents will sign up,” she said.

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