Our 10,000 Steps Challenge
This month the Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) have been encouraging fellow Health and Wellbeing staff members to walk at least 10,000 steps a day.
Like many other people, members of the Health and Wellbeing team spend quite a bit of time working at a desk.
As desk jobs reduce overall physical activity levels they can have a negative impact on health over the long-term. To avoid this, it is important for office workers to find ways of adding some movement to their day.
The 10,000 step challenge is a great way of increasing activity levels in the office as Physical Activity Referral Officer, Maxine Taylor, explains:
“Nowadays it’s easy to track your step count. Some of the team have been using a FitBit but most are using the iPhone and Samsung Health apps which are free of charge. To help people reach the target, we organise daily group walks during lunchtime and also started an exercise class on Wednesday mornings before work.
“Everyone who is taking part in the challenge has been added to a WhatsApp group where we post our daily step counts. At the end of each week the steps are tallied up to create a leader board.
“The response so far has been absolutely brilliant. The element of competition is great for keeping people motivated. Sometimes the discussion on the group can get quite heated! However, it has also created a real sense of team spirit as we all encourage each other to keep going.”
10,000 steps equate to about an hour and a half of walking spaced out over the course of the day. This may sound relatively easy, but it can be surprisingly difficult to achieve while working a desk job.
Someone who drives to work and then sits at their desk all day will only walk between 2000 and 4000 steps.
Spurred on by the competition, members of the Health and Wellbeing team are now clocking up impressive daily step counts. The average count amongst participants is currently around 14,000 steps. The most steps taken in one day so far is 28,849.
As the team are now into the third week of the challenge, the health benefits are becoming apparent.
“One of the things most people have noticed is an increase in energy levels. A walk in the afternoon really helps to stave off the post-lunch dip at work,” said Maxine.
As the initiative has been such a success, members of the team are keen to keep the momentum going. There are already plans for a new challenge next month and some team members are beginning training for a 5k run.
The challenge was inspired by Cancer Research UK’s “Walk All Over Cancer” campaign, which encourages us all to take up the 10,000 step challenge.
Remember that GPs and other health professionals can refer clients in to the PARs service. Visit our Refer pages for more information.