Staff at NHS Borders have not just gone an extra mile to raise awareness of living well with cancer, they have gone an extra 15,000 miles.
Last month, 118 staff formed 27 teams to compete in a Step Count Challenge – a workplace initiative by Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All, to encourage people to be more active.
In just a month, 15,684 miles were covered in total – the equivalent number of miles from Melrose to Antarctica and back.
The winning team were ‘Catch Me If You Can’, made up of employees from the recovery department at Borders General Hospital, who managed to do 2,199,338 steps during the challenge which aimed to raise awareness of Macmillan Move More Borders, a physical activity programme for those affected by cancer.
Charlotte Jones, Macmillan Move More development officer with Live Borders, said: “We decided to run a Step Count Challenge for NHS Borders staff to encourage a more active workplace and to raise awareness of Move More Borders.
“The teams provided encouragement and support to each other throughout the month and the online platform allowed the teams to check their progress against their competition.”
Managed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Live Borders, Move More Borders offers gentle movement classes, circuit-based activities, gardening and cancer-friendly walks supported by Paths for All.
The challenge not only encouraged participants to become more physically active in their workplace, but also allowed Move More Borders to provide evidence, research and resources about the benefits of being physically active for people affected by cancer with a view to increasing referrals into the programme.
It also crowned Elsie Anderson as a Step Count Champion due to her inspiring performance throughout the challenge.
Elsie, who works as a medical secretary at Borders General Hospital, said: “Taking part in the Step Count Challenge made me aware of how much I was exercising and how much more I was capable of doing.”
Macmillan Cancer Support has completed various pieces of research which show that being active during and after treatment can maintain physical function, improve feeling of mental wellbeing as well as minimising the side effects of treatment.
To be referred to the Move More Borders programme, visit www.liveborders.org.uk/movemoreborders, call 01896 661166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
z Pictured are members of ‘Catch Me If You Can’ who received a prize of a one-month gym membership, and Elsie Anderson who receiving her prize of vouchers. Each member of the winning team received a Live Borders One Club three-month membership and a £20 voucher to use at Harestanes. The Step Count Champion received a voucher from Paths for All and a voucher for The Colourful Edit.