A unique physical activity programme aiming to get thousands of people on the move across Sheffield is returning – after the city clocked up 6.5 million active minutes last year.
Move More Month, which has been created by the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine – NCSEM, is encouraging the people of Sheffield to get active and to record their physical activity during June to see how many combined minutes the city can record.
For Move More Month activities and initiatives will be held across the city, aiming to get people involved and generate a sense of city cohesion.
Organisers are hoping to smash last year’s total minutes by reaching the 10 million mark.
Movements can be logged on smart phones by a new and free Move More Sheffield app, which has been developed by a team of experts from both Sheffield’s Universities.
Once downloaded, the app will automatically track activity and clock up users’ Move More Minutes, for each minute of activity. The app can be connected to wearable activity trackers and apps such as a Fitbit or Strava, making it even easier to keep a record of activity levels.
We know that physical activity can reduce the risk of some of the most common cancers, such as colorectal and breast cancer
Participants can also see their movements on the Move More website, where users can achieve goals, view a timeline of activities and join Move More competitions.
There are numerous organisations across the city that are supporting the campaign, including Yorkshire Cancer Research, who will be partnering with the NCSEM to deliver the Move More Workplace Challenge aspect of the Month for 2017.
Regional, independent charity Yorkshire Cancer Research is supporting the initiative with a £50,000 investment as part of its new strategy to reduce the risk of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyles. Four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, eating well, drinking less alcohol, being active and staying safe in the sun.
Lisa Trickett, community health initiatives manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “We’re really excited to be part of such a fantastic programme. We know that physical activity can reduce the risk of some of the most common cancers, such as colorectal and breast cancer.
“It’s incredibly important that we stay as active as possible and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Sheffield come together to bring this campaign to life.”
Professor Robert Copeland, director for the NCSEM and Move More, said: “Move More Month is an ambition for Sheffield to become one of the most physically active places in the UK by 2020. We want to change the culture of the city to make it easier to be physically active as part of everyday life.
“In Sheffield, through the NCSEM partnership, we are very much leading the way in terms of public health and physical activity research and the Move More initiative really puts us at the forefront. Through the campaign, we hope to see meaningful improvement in the health, wellbeing and quality of life of everybody living in the city.”
During last year’s Move More Month 5,500 Sheffielders downloaded the Move More Sheffield app, more than 7,000 people got involved through the Move More Steel City Derby, workplace challenge and schoolyard challenge and a total of 1,941 pupils from six school clocked up 2,669 miles.
Dr Ollie Hart, a GP at Sloan Medical Centre, in Heeley, and a key figure behind the project, said: “Last year’s Move More Month was such a great success.
“Thousands of people got involved and it was a really positive way to show the city how we can work as a team and support each other in becoming more physically active for the benefit of our health and wellbeing.
“We hope that people of all ages and abilities will get involved this year too. As a GP I know that being physically active is probably one of the most important things you can do, so Move More Month is our opportunity to have a real focus on its importance and most importantly have fun with it.”
Workplaces across Sheffield can also engage in the Move More Month by taking part in a specially designed Workplace Challenge, which officially launched this week at Westfield Health’s new headquarters, Westfield House.
The challenge is a web-based team activity competition for organisations and employees. It uses the Move More app, or pedometers and other devices to monitor employee movement.
The results are then displayed on a website, where participation medals are awarded and teams can compare their efforts with others in a Move More League table. It’s all about friendly competition between colleagues, businesses and organisations across Sheffield with the aim to encourage everyone to Move More.
One business which will be taking part in the Workplace Challenge is B. Braun Medical Ltd, based at Thorncliffe Park, Sheffield.
Hans Hux, group chief executive of B. Braun Medical Ltd, said: “The wellbeing of employees is something we take very seriously at B. Braun. The initiatives in our own B Healthy B. Braun programme are specially designed to be accessible and inclusive, so that everyone has the opportunity to make healthy choices.
“Our business would not be where it is today without the hard work and dedication of our staff. Our employees are the key to our organisation’s success so we feel it is important for us to do what we can to support them with their health and wellbeing.
“We are extremely proud to be involved with the Move More Workplace Challenge and we are looking forward to an active and healthy summer, and hope to help contribute to Sheffield being the most active city by 2020!”
Another city-wide challenge to take place as part of Move More Month is the Move More Steel City Derby, which was a huge success during last year.
Fans of Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday will be invited to ‘Move More for Goals’ by pledging their football allegiance via the app or website and then using their active minutes to score goals for their chosen team.
The scores will be constantly updated and broadcast across the city via social media and the team with the most minutes, or goals, will be crowned winner of the Move More Steel City Derby.
Also part of Move More Month is the Schoolyard Challenge, in which 20 participating schools from all corners of Sheffield this year will clock up as many active minutes as possible.
This means that approximately 7,000 pupils will get involved.
Other events will be taking place across the city during the whole month, and local community groups will also be getting involved.
The Move More app is now available to download on Google Play and the Apple Store.
n For more information about Move More Month and to sign up Move More Minutes, go to your points via the website, visit Move More Sheffield