The Steps to Health Challenge is a five week walking challenge, starting on Monday, 23 May that supports HSE staff to get out walking and connecting with your colleagues. The goal is reach 10,000 steps daily or to just become more active, during the Challenge, than you were previously. Any improvement will bring benefits! You can accumulate steps in many ways, such as taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting off a bus stop earlier, and walking during breaks and after work.
Registration for the Steps to Health Challenge remains open until Sunday, May 22 for participants using their own step tracking devices.
Staff taking part can follow our activities and get updates and details of our competitions on Twitter search for @HSEsteps. We will also send a weekly update to all team coordinators.
Fiona Barrett, an annual team co-ordinator from University Hospital Kerry, talks about The Steps to Health Challenge as a great way to increase your physical activity levels:
My fitness level had been declining slowly and while I had begun to notice it more and more, I couldn’t find the energy nor the motivation to get moving after finishing work every day. I have two young kids and some back problems and they became my excuse for not doing any physical activity. When the email came through in May last year, calling for registrations for The Steps to Health Challenge, I took it as a sign to get started on reversing my sedentary behaviour. It was the kick start I needed to become more active, for my health and for my kids. Steps to Health gave me and my colleagues the opportunity to become social again and catch up while getting our steps in. I can’t wait for this year’s Steps to Health Challenge to begin now more of us are in the office. We can also use Whatsapp and Facetime for those still working from home.
Cork-based public health nurse Audrey Burkley finds The Steps to Health Challenge a great way to push yourself off the couch and get active:
Many of us are still feeling the huge effect that Covid-19 had on our staff including redeployment and the enormous restrictions in our work places. The Steps to Health Challenge really helped to get us active and connect with each other during those difficult times. I’m delighted to be a team co-ordinator again this year and to be able to get out walking with colleagues without all the restrictions. We will be doing pre and post walk stretches and walking as a team, starting small and gradually building up every day to achieving as many steps as possible, depending on each team member’s capabilities. Aside from walking, we love the opportunity for chats and discussions knowing that great thoughts can be conceived while walking with colleagues! I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t registered to do so. Gather up to 10 colleagues, nominate a co-ordinator and register. It’s a marvellous HSE opportunity encouraging physical activity and camaraderie.
If you would like to participate, form a team of between two and 10 members and nominate a team coordinator to register your team.
Share your steps photos with us on Twitter using #HSEstepschallenge @HSEsteps. Find more information about the Steps to Health Challenge. Email email@example.com.
Best of luck!