NHS staff put their best foot forward as part of a winter walking campaign

NHS staff put their best foot forward as part of a winter walking campaign
10 January 2017

MORE THAN 70 members of staff at Burton Hospitals will be putting their best foot forward as part of a winter walking campaign. The #BHFT10kaday challenge was launched this week and aims to encourage NHS staff to think about their own health and wellbeing as well as that of their patients.

Walking reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis among other illnesses. The project is being supported by activity tracker supplier Fitbit. The company has provided the Trust with trackers which count the number of steps being taken by the person wearing the device.

Each participant has been tasked with clocking up at least 10,000 steps per day – the recommended number for a healthy lifestyle - for the next 12 weeks. The winner will be the person who achieves this goal on the highest number of days.

Dr Magnus Harrison, Medical Director, said: “If we all do our bit to look after ourselves by eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise, we will not only have a positive impact on our own health and wellbeing, research has found that it also benefits our patients.

“As a Trust we are keen to encourage patients to take good care of themselves so that they can stay as fit as possible and the same is true for members of staff.  The benefits of taking a stroll instead of getting in a car, on a bus or a train are significant – walking can reduce your risk of heart disease by up to 50 per cent as well as decreasing the chances of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and even some forms of cancer.

“Walking regularly can also help those of us who have made a New Year’s resolution to shed a few pounds and it is also a great way to save money by cutting down on travel costs. It is a win, win situation for your health, wellbeing, waistline and pocket.”

The challenge is part of the Trust’s ‘Thrive’ campaign, which aims to promote health and wellbeing amongst Burton Hospitals staff, and follows on from a similar programme that ran alongside the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Then, 50 members of staff from across the Trust took an impressive 13.5 million steps during the duration of the Games - almost 6,000 miles.

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