Stepping up to the mark

Ciara Walsh, Fergus Keane, Bernie Ryan and Isabel Gomez, The Good Shephard Centre, winners of the Smarter Travel Step Challange pictured with the Amber Refuge and Social Inclusion treams at the awards last Weednesday morning. Photo: Pat Moore.
Teams from Good Shepherd Centre, Amber and HSE Social Inclusion Unit recently participated in a four week Step Challenge to get into shape and promote good health.

Teams from Good Shepherd Centre, Amber and HSE Social Inclusion Unit recently participated in a four week Step Challenge to get into shape and promote good health.

The aim of reaching a recommended 10,000 steps a day has been the health promotion challenge set over the last four weeks among staff members of The Good Shepherd Centre, AMBER women’s refuge and the HSE South Social Inclusion Unit in Kilkenny. Teams from each unit have been in a fun competition with each other, to see who can take the most steps in the run up to Christmas.

The team from the Good Shepherd Centre won the challenge, walking 670km over the four weeks.

“The experience was very positive it made you realise how many steps you where taking in a day or sometimes how many you weren’t taking. It was great fun challenging Amber Womens Refuge and the HSE South Social Inclusion Unit in the steps,” said Fergus Keane of the Good Shepherd.

For the challenge, groups of colleagues organised themselves into teams and use step counters to count every step they take. A step counter is a simple device worn on your waistband, it has a motion sensor which is activated when you take a step.

Meabh McGuinness, Health Promotion Officer with the HSE said:

“With physical activity we promote the message that ‘small changes make a difference, and that’s what this challenge is about, making small changes in your daily routine, you don’t have to join a gym or get involved in sport to be active. The challenge is a simple initiative aimed at encouraging people to build more physical activity into their daily routines and is part of Kilkenny’s Smarter Travel programme. Over half of Irish adults are not active enough for good health. Adults should take at least 30 minutes moderate intensity activity every day, and children should take at least 60 minutes activity every day. Using a pedometer is an easy, inexpensive way to help you become more active, as even small changes are recorded such as taking an extra flight of stairs.”

If you would like to organise a step challenge in your workplace or for a group you are involved with you can contact Meabh McGuinness on 056-7734862, meabh.mcguinness@hse.ie, the Health Promotion Department can loan you pedometers for your group and support you in organising the challenge.