Staff stride to success in Step Challenge
The challenge, which launched in May, encouraged teams of five members of University staff to make the virtual 1,015 mile long journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats, via the University’s Headingley Campus, over six weeks.
A total of 380 members of staff took part in 76 teams. To successfully complete the challenge, each team member was required to average around 10,000 steps per day for each day of the challenge but this was exceeded as the average was revealed to be 11,239.
A total of 180 million steps was achieved over 90,000 miles, with the winning team strolling their way to 3,313,338 steps.
John Hamilton, Head of Safety, Health and Wellbeing at Leeds Beckett University, explained: “We launched our Step into Summer challenge to try and engage all colleagues at our University in something that would be fun, and also improve their health and wellbeing. With around one in five of our campus-based staff taking part, the response was fantastic. They loved taking part as a team with other colleagues, and during the six weeks the challenge became a real topic of conversation around the University. The benefits in increased activity levels and mental health show that exercise can be fun and beneficial to health – and with walking it’s also free! We are already thinking about how we can engage more colleagues in next year’s challenge.”
Feedback received from staff taking part was extremely positive, with one challenger commenting: “I now park one mile away from work and have a lovely walk in every morning.” Another member of staff said: “Apart from becoming more active and the associated health benefits I enjoyed the team spirit and the buzz created about the challenge itself.”
Before getting started on their challenge, all teams received a free Health MOT with the University’s occupational health team, which was repeated after the challenge to highlight the health benefits that walking brings. The health check measured blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage and peak flow (lung capacity).
To keep the teams motivated and competitive, prizes and incentives were offered along the way including vouchers for hot drinks and a weekly prize draw to win Love2shop vouchers.
Working in partnership with UTravelActive Leeds, Leeds Beckett’s Sustainability team has now set up similarly successful schemes under the name #SummerWalkingChallenge at three more of the largest organisations in Leeds: Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds Trinity University and the University of Leeds.
Across the sites, the team has given out hundreds of pedometers, promoted local walking routes and have begun leading weekly lunchtime walks. Just under 1000 people have been involved across the three challenges.
Click here to view photos of the Leeds Beckett Step into Summer challenge.