One of the messages we promote as a project is the importance of health and wellbeing. But what good is it if we don’t practise what we preach?

With this in mind, our Devon team took on the challenge of walking 10 million steps in six weeks. Now this might seem like an overwhelming amount of walking, but with 49 members of staff taking part and the average person walking 5,000 steps a day it was a good number to strive towards (or stride towards if you’re feeling punny).

Neil is our Livewell Wellbeing Champion, and he promoted this challenge. He said the idea came “just after Christmas when everyone finds themselves in a bit of a lull and are wanting to think about new resolutions. We had also just started walking groups with our participants”.

And so there it was, the staff got split into seven teams (all with a great walking-based pun in the name) ensuring that they were diverse and filled with the space to get to know each other better. A team leader was appointed to each group, for the members to feed back their totals to every week and keep everyone motivated. “The number of steps didn’t massively matter – but if people can focus on how many they’re doing and watch it progress then it should hopefully have a positive effect” Neil said.

The benefits of this challenge go far beyond the healthy team competition (although that did help too), there are really positive health benefits – both mental and physical. The physical health benefits range from boosting energy to strengthening the heart. Walking 30 minutes a day can also ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, help to feel less stressed and overwhelmed, and just improve overall mental health and wellbeing.

Our total final step count was 13,753,430 steps over the 6 weeks which is the equivalent of 6,246 miles or all of us walking from London to Tai Pai in Taiwan.

Great effort to all the teams!