Walking Charity calls on Dumfries and Galloway to step up for spring

PEOPLE across Dumfries and Galloway are being called on by Scotland’s walking charity to get their steps in as part of its biggest workplace walking and wheeling challenge.


Paths for All is inviting businesses and charities of all shapes and sizes across the country to take part in its eight-week Step Count Challenge this spring.


The Step Count Challenge is designed to motivate teams to walk, wheel, or cycle more during the workday to boost physical activity levels, improving mental health, social connections, and overall wellbeing. Thousands participate each year, racking up incredible step totals.


Kevin Lafferty, Chief Executive Officer at Paths for All, said: “The workplace is where most of us spend a majority of our waking hours, so it’s crucial we create environments that promote healthy habits.
“Things like walking meetings, taking the stairs, or just getting up to chat with a coworker face-to-face can make a big difference in how we feel.
“Walking is one of the simplest things we can do to improve our physical, mental and social health. You don’t need any special equipment and it can be incorporated into the working day.
“The Step Count Challenge is all about building awareness around these easy opportunities to move more.”


The 2024 Step Count Challenge runs 29th April – 23rd June. Teams of 5 can register for just £30.


Participants track their activity online, access leaderboards and team chat features, and can even estimate the environmental impact of their steps.


For extra motivation, the charity are running prize draws with the chance to win vouchers for Go Outdoors and a £1,000 luxury getaway at a Macdonald Hotel.


43-year-old Rona MacKay from the Outer Herbrides was recognised as the Step Count Challenge Champion in the autumn challenge for her efforts in encouraging team mates to be more active and in turn improve their health and well-being.


“It was important to me to do the challenge, as I have a desk job and find myself sitting for long hours in a day looking at a screen.
“Taking part in the challenge encouraged me to get away from my desk at regular intervals. Every 45 minutes I took a short break to get some steps in, even if it’s just walking to the kitchen to get some water.
“20 of our 26 staff took part in the Step Count Challenge so we had some fun rivalry between the groups to motivate us. My team was spread across Uist, Orkney, Shetland, the Black Isle and Edinburgh so we set up a teams chat to keep in touch and egg each other on.”


The Step Count Challenge is made up of teams of five and has one simple aim of encouraging people to walk more to feel healthier and happier, with participants having access to leader boards, goal setting and a team chat system to keep them motivated and connected.


Teams can track their daily walked or cycled miles and can access a carbon calculator to measure the positive impact making local journeys on foot has on the environment.


More information about bespoke Step Count Challenges, can be found by visiting https://www.stepcount.org.uk/bespoke-step-count-challenges

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