View all news

Staff and students walk half-way around the world

From left: Pedometer Challenge winners Ann Symmons and Dave Sidwick with Karen Harvey, Healthy Lifestyle Manager in the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health

From left: Pedometer Challenge winners Ann Symmons and Dave Sidwick with Karen Harvey, Healthy Lifestyle Manager in the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health

28 March 2008

With a total step count of 22,9485,28, participants in the 2008 Pedometer Challenge, organised by the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health, clocked up almost 11,475 miles in just four weeks – almost half-way around the world.

One hundred and forty-five people from across the University registered for the four-week Pedometer Challenge that took place in February. The aim was to reach 10,000 steps each day, the recommended target for optimum health, with a focus on each individual’s progression towards that goal. Each week participants received emails with advice on how to increase step counts, with challengers sharing their own experiences and top tips.

Winners were selected on the basis of consistent progress made each week, and, with excellent results recorded, the judges faced some tough decisions when selecting the six winners. In the end, prizes donated by Kathmandu, BIKE UK and the Centre for Sport, Exercise and Health were awarded to Gabi Habacher (a student in the Department of Clinical Veterinary Science), Ann Symmons (Campaigns and Alumni Relations Office), Dave Sidwick (School of Medical Sciences), Brenda Wear (Division of Animal Health and Husbandry), Lucie Hazelgrove (a student in the Department of Mathematics) and Susie Sims (Careers Service).

The participants had plenty of praise for the initiative. Dave Sidwick said: ‘I was so pleased to win something at last! I’m going to put the voucher towards a bicycle which I’ve always wanted to ride but never have so far! I now park the car two miles away and walk to work. I feel much healthier since starting the challenge.’

Susie Sims said: ‘The Pedometer Challenge was a great initiative. I now have a healthy body mass index of 24, my fat percentage has gone down from 33% to 29%, I am much fitter, and none of my old clothes fit any longer. I am definitely going to keep it up, and some others in the office have asked to borrow the pedometer for a bit to see if they can increase their steps, so it’s going on tour!’

Ann Symmons said: ‘I will continue to wear my pedometer each day. It’s become a good habit and I will continue to walk whenever I get the opportunity because it really is enjoyable. My stamina is building up and I feel great.”

Brenda Wear said: ‘I am feeling fitter, healthier and wealthier. My car can’t remember its way to Budgens! The Pedometer Challenge has made me more aware of what is around me – the plant life, spring flowers and wildlife that are in the hedgerows and fields.’

Research shows that walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve health, build stamina and burn excess calories. It has a positive effect on stress levels and is a great way of spending quality and healthy time with family and friends. In addition, as a sustainable mode of transport, walking helps the environment as well as health.

For more information, please contact Karen Harvey, Healthy Lifestyle Manager, on 0117 331 1166 or email

Edit this page