Men’s Shed Program a Winner

Twenty-seven Tablelands men have celebrated the completion of a 16-week all-abilities exercise program for over 65s.

‘This program was a fantastic collaboration between Tablelands Regional Council, Atherton Men’s Shed, Malcolm Fraser from Atherton Community Health and Carla Barletta from FNQ Health and Fitness,’ said Councillor Bernie Wilce.

‘The Health Needs Assessment 2019–22 by Northern Queensland Primary Health Network showed older men in our region have low levels of physical activity compared to other areas in FNQ.

‘Our aim was to embed positive behaviour changes towards physical activity and health living habits in this demographic and, from this, the Atherton Men’s Shed Physical Activity Program was created.

‘The program consisted of weekly, one-hour guided sessions at the Age-friendly Exercise Park in Atherton where Carla Barletta, an exercise physiologist demonstrated, instructed and supervised the participants.

‘The sessions involved working in pairs around the circuit in 45 second increments.

‘Pre-program health checks by Carla and Mal provided a baseline for monitoring during the program and the participants and coordinators were impressed with improvements at the mid- and end of-program checks.

‘Some of the men lost well over 10kg and, more importantly, have made exercise and healthy eating part of their every day.

‘The plan now is to share the program with other Men’s Sheds and groups,’ said Councillor Wilce.

Participant Rod Armstrong believes everyone has benefitted from the program and they will continue to implement what they’ve learnt.

‘It has been a great adventure for a lot of us — a great social activity with the benefits of the exercise program.

‘We’ve done very well out of it,’ said Mr Armstrong.

Llyod Stonadge also believes the program had a wide range of benefits.

‘I think one of the principle advantages of an exercise group like this, concentrating on males of a certain age, is that not only do we exercise but we are able to make spiderwebs of friendship that grow.

‘I meet people from the exercise group at Woolworths and say hello to them.

‘I would not have met them without the program,’ said Mr Stonadge.

Left to right — Colin Dow, Graham Gilder, Lloyd Stonadge, Dennis Lee Sye, Tony Knight, Pipi, Laurie Kerr, Tom Murray, Carla Barletta (FNQ Health and Fitness), Ray Francis, Mike Gardner, Mal Gillespie, Paul Jones, Megan Smart (TRC), Karl Buderus, Kelly Pollock (Queensland Health), ‘Jacko’ Jackson, Bert Dwyer and Joe O’Dea.