Page last updated at 12:24 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 13:24 UK

Bus workers' weight loss pledge

Julie and Phillip Horseman, photos by onEdition
Mr and Mrs Horseman joined up after being diagnosed with diabetes

Eleven bus company workers who tip the scales at a combined weight of 200 stone (1,270kg) have pledged to lose 55 stone (350kg) in six weeks.

The First Bus employees from Bristol include bus drivers, canteen workers and office workers and range in weight from 15 (95kg) to 28 stone (178kg).

The staff all do jobs which involve little physical exercise and shift working, and some have health problems.

They are being helped to lose weight with tailored programmes at a city gym.

Insulin warning

The MoreActive4Life Campaign is a six-week programme designed by the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) to make it easier for those who do not normally exercise to be active.

Husband and wife Julie and Phillip Horseman have volunteered for the scheme after being diagnosed with diabetes and being told to lose weight by their doctor.

Mr Horseman weighs 28 stone (178kg) and wants to lose nine stone (57kg), while wife is currently 15 stone (95kg) and has been warned she faces daily injections of insulin.

Karen Baxter, from First Bus, said the company is supporting those taking part and hopes the approach will encourage workers in similar jobs to improve their lifestyles.

"As a company we do what we can to encourage our employees to adopt healthy lifestyles, recognising the benefit that this can offer both them and us," she said.

"We welcome this opportunity and the benefits it will bring for those taking part.

"We hope it will be successful and that others, who are maybe nervous about starting an exercise programme, are encouraged by the drivers taking part in this scheme."

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