BALLARAT has been challenged to make a positive change.
The city’s health will be put to the test in a nationwide first that will track changes people make in their lifestyles and how they help.
Program creator Paul Taylor said individuals were challenged to sign up to a 12-week challenge and document their progress on the website ritualize.com/ballarat.
This comes as Ballarat has been labelled as the worst place in Victoria for cardiovascular disease and the worst place in the country for physical inactivity, with 32.9 per cent of the population obese.
Mr Taylor said the social health-orientated website required people to register before doing a bio-age assessment.
The bio-age takes age and metabolic, physical and behavioural evaluation and gives an indication of your body’s age according to its health.
“You can take the test again at any time to see improvements,” Mr Taylor said.
The Positive Change Project will launch on Saturday at The Lodge, with Mr Taylor giving a presentation about the program before an optional eight-minute intensive workout.
“What we know is that people don’t do what experts like me tell them to do, they do what people like them, their friends and family, tell them to do,” Mr Taylor said.
“The website has a very social aspect, so people can see how their ‘friends’ are going which will encourage them.”
He said the program encouraged people to have little rituals to achieve end goals, which could be marked off daily.
“By doing little things and checking them off, it creates habit which helps willpower, while releasing dopamine which gives people that little hit.
“This program is giving people tools that will help improve their lives.
“Twelve weeks is just the kick-off.”
Mr Taylor said the program tied into lots of group and city events and the YMCA would also run free programs for participants.