Work colleagues take on physical challenge
A TEAM of workmates from Perth and Kinross have covered the equivalent of walking around the world and a bit more in just 5 weeks with the help of a bespoke challenge.
Perth and Kinross Council walked over 41,356 miles in their personal time as part of a bespoke Step Count Challenge which saw 48 teams, and 240 colleagues achieve a collective 92,431,446 steps.
Staff took part in a tailor-made challenge to encourage the workforce to get out walking, with 95% of participants saying they would get involved in future challenges.
This comes as Scotland’s national walking charity, Paths for All, has encouraged businesses in Perth and Kinross to create their own bespoke challenges to get employees out walking during Lockdown.
Mhari Watson, Organisational Development Coordinator, said: “For us, it was more than just a way of encouraging physical activity, people began connecting in a virtual environment.
“The Step Count Challenge engaged a wide variety of people in the organisation and provided a positive distraction from the current environment we’re all working and living in.
“Feedback has shown that the challenge has boosted connectivity in teams, enhanced morale and increased the wellbeing of colleagues who now feel healthier and fitter.”
Daily local walks boast an array of positive mental and physical health benefits, whilst helping to connect individuals socially, online or with one individual outside, as exercise remains one of the few essential reasons for leaving your home.
Another Perth and Kinross Council employee praised the Step Count Challenge adding: “Being part of a team made me determined to try my best and not to let the side down – I used every opportunity to get my steps up.
“I found that I could do 300 – 500 around the house and garden in the morning, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my colleagues on our lunch time and evening virtual walks.
“I couldn’t have done it without the team and the constant encouragement from family and friends asking ‘How many steps today?’.
“Working from home has certainly brought its challenges, feeling isolated from my work colleagues has been difficult as I’m sure it has been for everyone.
“When the invitation came to join the Step Count Challenge I jumped at the chance, the first week I thought my steps were pretty good and our wee team was doing well, week two came and we found ourselves slipping down the table, it was then that our team really ‘stepped’ into action!
“The challenge gave me the opportunity to motivate myself and feel part of a team again albeit virtually.”
Paths for All offers tailor-made Step Count Challenges inviting organisations of all sizes to set-up their own walking challenge to keep their workforce active by connecting colleagues working remotely.
Businesses across the country including large-scale organisations such as Queen Margaret University, the Scottish Ambulance Service, and Commonwealth Games Scotland, are utilising the Step Count Challenge.
The call to action for businesses to get their workforce moving comes as it is revealed many adults continue to sit for long periods of time while at work. Workplaces must act to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health and wellbeing.
Frances Bain, Walking for Health manager at Paths for All, said: “The workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our time, whether it be at your adapted new home office or in the office during more normal times, it’s incredibly important that staff take a break from the screen and employers put wellbeing at the forefront of their mind.
“Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical, social and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.
“The challenge helps businesses put their staff’s health and wellbeing at the heart of what they do whilst making exercise fun.
“We all need to play our part in helping to make the nation healthier and happier, in both a work and personal setting.”
The Step Count Challenge is made up of teams of five and has one simple aim of encouraging people to walk more to feel happier and healthier, with participants having access to leader boards, goal setting and team chat to keep them motivated and connected.
Businesses can register a team of five for just £30 – and can customise their own challenges with tailored branding and personalised messaging.
A nationwide Step Count Challenge, which is open to all workplaces, starts on Monday, 3 May and will run for eight weeks.
Paths for All believes regular walking is key to leading a happy and healthy life, and it’s even more important for people to continue enjoying short, local walks where it is safe and appropriate to do so with to the huge array of associated benefits.
Paths for All’s focus is clear: it wants to get Scotland walking: everyone, every day, everywhere.
For more information on Paths for All, visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk
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