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10,000 step challenge helps workers lose weight and walk 11,233 miles

The team with bags of sugar representing their weight loss
The team with bags of sugar representing their weight loss

Workers at a Hartlepool firm helped raise cash for charity after taking part in a 10,000 step challenge

With support from Hartlepool Borough Council, 22 members of staff at Heerema Hartlepool Ltd have walked the equivalent of circumnavigating the whole of Australia, lost a combined amount of weight equal to 64 bags of sugar, and raised £1,000 for charity through a 12-week health and fitness initiative.

Heerema Hartlepool Ltd developed the ’10,000 step club challenge’ campaign as part of their work towards achieving their North East Better Health at Work silver award.

The team managed to step a total distance of 11,233 miles and lose 281lbs - of which 8 people lost more than 14lbs by simply being more active and eating healthier.

The council has supported Heerema and other local organisations to achieve the award by helping businesses to conduct health needs assessments on their workforce, develop health-related policies and strategies, and provide resources and expert guidance to run health campaigns and events. The regional award scheme is free to any business looking to improve the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Steven Carter, the council’s Advanced Health Improvement Practitioner and coordinator for the Better Health at Work Award, said: "Heerema Hartlepool Ltd is a credit to the Better Health at Work programme. They have made an excellent start to their silver award with this innovative and effective campaign.

“The initial goal was to walk the distance of the ‘Great Wall of China’, a total of 5,500 miles; this was completed by week seven and by week ten the team had circumnavigated the whole of Australia.

“There is clearly a lot of senior level support for improving the health and wellbeing of their workforce, and the staff clearly value that and engage well in the support provided.”

Throughout the course of the campaign, none of the 22 members of staff took a day’s leave due to sickness or ill health.

Alan Lloyd, Heerema Hartlepoolyard director, said: “We strive to support the health and wellbeing of our staff, and would like to thank Hartlepool Borough Council for the support they have given us as we work towards achieving the silver award.

“We all know that being more active is good for our health, but sometimes we overlook the benefits of simple activities like walking. That’s why this clever initiative encouraged our staff to think about the number of steps they take every day, and set a clear target to work towards as a team.

“What this group of staff has achieved is truly commendable, and a shining example to others. We are committed to making further improvements, and now look forward to achieving our silver award and starting our journey towards gold.”

Staff recently visited Tesco Extra Hartlepool (Belle Vue Way) where Community Champion Selina Wilson gave them a visual representation of the total amount of weight lost by placing 64 two-kilo bags of sugar in a Tesco trolley.

Selina Wilson added: “Tesco has a strong charity partnership with Diabetes UK, and so it was fantastic to see the team at Heerema Hartlepool working with Hartlepool Borough Council to try and tackle the dangers of too much fat and sugar in our diets with a fun, engaging challenge.

“It removed the pressures of going to the gym, which isn't everyone's cup of tea, and they all did so well.

“Tesco stores nationwide have just started a similar step challenge, with each employee signed up aiming to collectively reach one million steps by September 30th, and we hope our challenge is just as successful as this one.”

To find out more about the North East Better Health at Work award scheme and the support available from Hartlepool Borough Council, contact Steven Carter on 01429 523583 or visit www.betterhealthatworkne.org.