Team mate inspires colleagues after walking one million steps in seven weeks

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A CLEANER who walked over one million steps in just seven weeks has motivated her colleagues to get moving.

Elizabeth Nisbett, a cleaner at The Donaldson Trust in Linlithgow walked over 495 miles during a bespoke eight-week Step Count Challenge hosted by Scotland’s walking charity, Paths for All.

The achievement inspired the charity’s Director of People and Operations, Liz Delaney to also walk one million steps in eight weeks.

Elizabeth went on to motivate 15 of her colleagues throughout the Step Count Challenge, with an additional 10 employees taking part for fun.

Lisa Miller, Human Resource Lead at The Donaldson Trust which is headquartered in Linlithgow, West Lothian was also inspired and set out on her own charitable challenge by walking 75 miles in 10 days for Mary’s Meals.

She said: “I can’t speak highly enough about the positive impact Paths for All’s Step Count Challenge had on our organisation.

“The Trust recognises the importance of keeping staff fit and active during the working day and walking is certainly the most accessible and inclusive activity for us to take part in.

“The challenge really spurred everyone on and it actually got quite competitive whilst bringing people together.

“After the Step Count Challenge, I felt inspired to continue walking and decided to walk 75 miles in 10 days for the charity Mary’s Meals.

“With a friend, I walked the equivalent of Glasgow to Dalmally and raised over £5,500. Had it not been for Paths for All’s Step Count Challenge increasing my fitness and motivation, I wouldn’t have even considered taking on this quest.

“For all of us it has made us think differently about keeping active whilst we were still in the workplace: climbing stairs instead of taking the lift, walking to someone’s desk instead of sending an email, and even going on socially distanced walking meetings”.

The Trust also picked up Paths for All’s Walk at Work Award which aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces.

Daily local walks boast an array of positive mental and physical health benefits, whilst helping to connect individuals socially, online or with one individual outside, as exercise remains one of the few essential reasons for leaving your home.

Paths for All offers tailor-made Step Count Challenges which invite organisations of all sizes to set-up  their own walking challenge to keep their workforce active by connecting colleagues working remotely.

Lauren Watkins, the Trust’s Human Resources Admin Assistant, said: “The challenge encourages you to communicate and interact with new people within your organisation and ultimately leads to better working relationships.

“There is also a competitive edge to it. I found myself one Monday morning lagging behind on the leader board and it spurred me to walk further and catch up with the rest of my team. Everyone is so supportive, and I would recommend it to other businesses.”

Businesses across the country including large-scale organisations such as Queen Margaret University, the Scottish Ambulance Service, and Commonwealth Games Scotland are turning their attention to staff’s health and wellbeing by getting involved in the Step Count Challenge and also the Walk at Work Award, Paths for All’s workplace walking accreditation.

Frances Bain, Walking for Health Manager at Paths for All, said: “The workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our time, whether it be at your adapted new home office or in the office during more normal times, it’s incredibly important that staff take a break from the screen and employers put wellbeing at the forefront of their mind.

“Walking is one of the simplest and best things we can do for our physical and mental health. It’s free, you don’t need any special equipment, and it can be easily incorporated into the average working day.

“The accreditations and challenges help businesses put their staff’s health and wellbeing at the heart of what they do whilst making exercise fun.

“The bespoke challenges are tailored to a business’s own teams, while our Walk at Work Award gives employers the chance to earn a recognised accreditation – with support throughout the whole process.

“Walking can connect people socially in many ways, whether that be virtually or meeting with one other person socially distanced outdoors, the benefits of physical activity go beyond health.

“We all need to play our part in helping to make the nation healthier and happier, in both a work and personal sense”.

The Step Count Challenge is made up of teams of five and has one simple aim of encouraging people to walk more to feel happier and healthier, with participants having access to leader boards, goal setting and team chat to keep them motivated and connected.

Businesses can register a team of five for just £30 – and can customise their own challenges with tailored branding and personalised messaging.

The Walk At Work Award aims to reverse the trend of inactive workplaces and the accreditation supports businesses in tackling issues of staff wellbeing and corporate carbon footprint, while enhancing productivity.

Employers receive one-to-one support on how to create a walking culture at work as well as examples of best practice and where to find extra help and resources.

A nationwide Step Count Challenge, which is open to all workplaces, starts on Monday, 3 May and will run for eight weeks.