GO “Walkabout” to improve health while in hospital.
A free program named after an Aboriginal tradition will encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander in-patients at the Port Macquarie Base Hospital to go for regular strolls around the grounds to maintain fitness and speed up their recovery.
Aboriginal staff have organised the group, which expects to attract about eight patients every Tuesday.
Launched this week, the initiative gained the Heart Foundation Australia’s tick of approval.
Health promotion worker Trish Davis said there has been walking groups organised around the Hastings for years, but this was the first formed in the hospital.
“Staff have done a fabulous job in getting this program off the ground,” Mrs Davis said.
Aboriginal Mental Health worker Jessica Morris said the initiative aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle while positively influencing social and emotional well-being.
“It’s about engaging Aboriginal people who are in hospital together,” Mrs Morris said.
“We hope to empower them to walk in their own communities once they get out.”
Mrs Morris said the program would also encourage participants to pass on what they learn to family members.