Great Western Hospital staff walk their way to a healthier 2016

Posted: February 3, 2016

Footsteps Challenge clocking up millions of steps

With thousands of people calling time on their New Year's resolution after just one month, dozens of members of staff at the Great Western Hospital are sticking to theirs and continuing with an epic six-week walking challenge.
 
The Footsteps Challenge 2016 involves more than 18 teams of doctors, nurses and even directors picking up a pedometer and tracking the number of steps they take around the hospital before the end of February.
 
With more than 20 wards spread out across four floors, it is hoped that staff taking part in the challenge will clock up some serious mileage while also burning extra calories and taking the steps towards an overall healthier lifestyle.
 
Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of Human Resources and team leader of the Sole Sisters, said: "It's a real privilege to be a part of the NHS and have people look to you for advice and support, so that's why we're leading by example and showing local people just how easy it is to get fit and  active in 2016.
 
"Before I started tracking my steps, I had no idea how much I was moving and I'm certain there are thousands of people out there who are exactly the same.
 
"The benefits of walking more are plenty and it's such an easy way to get exercise into your working day. By opting for the stairs instead of the lift, you're burning extra calories and when you work at somewhere like GWH, they soon add up."
 
A leaderboard showing how many miles each team has walked will be updated weekly, with the winning team being revealed near the end of February.
 
The Footsteps Challenge follows a similar initiative last year in which staff were asked to record how many flights of stairs they tackled in the first six weeks of 2015.
 
Coming out on top was the Lung Busters team with a total of 4,206 flights to their name, the equivalent of scaling Mount Everest and then climbing to the top of Big Ben a further ten times.
 
The average person takes between 3,000 and 4,000 steps every day with experts claiming that walking can reduce a person's risk of diabetes and even some cancers.

Further information

For more on living healthily, visit the NHS Choices website > Live Well (www.nhs.uk/livewell/Pages/Livewellhub.aspx).

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