To coincide with National Walking Month in May, Local Motion organised a ‘10,000 Step Challenge’ with workers in South Durham.
The three-week challenge involved workers from five businesses being challenged to walk the most number of steps.
The aim was for 10,000 steps a day, as it’s thought that if you are walking 10,000 steps a day, you will probably be meeting your recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.
Ten thousand steps might sound like a lot but competitors started slow and built their way up by finding easy ways to fit in the extra steps.
Each competitor was given a pedometer at the start of the challenge and a chart to track their progress. They were competing for gold, silver and bronze level standards.
For bronze they needed to walk between 75,000 and 109,999 steps during the three week challenge, for silver they were required to rack up 110, 000 to 149,999 steps, and to reach the dizzying heights of gold standard they had to clock an impressive 150,000 steps or more.
Prefere Resins, Sabre Rail, North East Laboratory Services, Evans Business Centre and Smurfit all had workers competing.
Some of their employees found themselves completing their steps in some very exotic locations, such as North East Laboratory Supplies’ staff who continued with the challenge when they were on holiday, recording steps from Newton Aycliffe to New York, and from Tesco to Mexico, and Trevor Forsyth from Evans Business Centre who completed two weeks of the challenge on board a cruise liner crossing the Atlantic!
Steve Shepperson, Local Motion Travel Ranger, said: “It’s great to hear how far and wide the steps were being recorded, and that people were sticking to the challenge long after they’d clocked out.
“Luckily though, you don’t have to have the day off to clock up 10,000 steps, there are some easy ways to sneak those steps into your working day. Just by getting off the bus a stop early, going for a lunchtime walk, or taking the stairs instead of the lift – it all adds up.
“It’s great for employees as they feel better for it and it’s brilliant for employers too as they have a workforce which is fighting fit and at its most productive.”
Each competitor successfully reached gold, silver or bronze level and received a Local Motion goodie bag to celebrate their success. The bags were packed with walking maps and giveaways to keep them striding on beyond the challenge.
Tony Wigglesworth, a labourer at Sabre Rail Services, said: “The Step Challenge was brilliant, it gave me the motivation to walk home instead of taking the bus, and it got me walking and saved me money.”
Local Motion can help businesses by providing staff with resources and top tips to get started. Local Motion also holds weekly lunchtime walks for people who want to get a bit more active but live too far from work to be able to commute on foot. The team can also train up walk leaders so they can run their own sessions – and even set up their own walking challenge.
There are a lot more services on offer from Local Motion including, travel planning, cycle training and fuel efficient driving courses. These services are all free and offer much more than just health benefits. Travel planning can also help businesses meet corporate social responsibility aims – such as reduced congestion, pollution and noise levels.
Engaging with the people of Darlington and South Durham and working with Connect Tees Valley, Local Motion supports walking, cycling, taking public transport and car sharing because it’s good for our communities, our health and well-being and it improves our environment.
• To see how Local Motion can help you build a healthier and happier workforce, visit their new website and see what’s on offer at dothelocalmotion.co.uk
• Pictured (above): Workers from Aycliffe Business Park have been taking part in Local Motion’s 10,000 Step Challenge. Chris Roe from Sabre Rail (pictured centre with Travel Ranger Steve Shepperson) achieved a Gold Award along with other staff.