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Physical activity initiative gets record number of Sheffield businesses moving

Participants in last year's Move More Month
Participants in last year's Move More Month
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A record number of Sheffield businesses have signed up for a major physical activity programme which is set to return to the steel city during June.

Move More Month, which in 2017 engaged more than 100 businesses and 10,000 people across Sheffield, is returning this Friday (1 June) – with more than 120 businesses already signed up to take on the initiative’s Workplace Challenge, in which organisations compete to become the city’s most active firm.

As the name suggests, Move More is all about getting people moving, while also enabling them to record their physical activity. This can be done through the ‘Move More Sheffield’ app, which can be downloaded on all smartphones.

A huge part of Move More Month is the Workplace Challenge, which is part of Sheffield’s ambition to become the most active city in the UK by 2020. The challenge aims to engineer physical activity back into the work environment.

Using a specially-developed website, activity and steps can be entered manually or using the Move More Sheffield app. Live Workplace Challenge league tables, positions and a plethora of social media activity help people get engaged and help participants monitor their progress.

Participants compete both against other organisations and against other employees within their organisation, to see who can be the most physically active employee during More More Month.

The results are then displayed on a website, where participation medals are awarded, and teams/employees can compare their efforts with others in a Move More league table.

And, with the launch of Move More Month 2018 due to take place in Sheffield city centre today (Thursday 31 May), an unprecedented amount of businesses have already signed up to take part in the initiative’s Workplace Challenge.

A contemporary take on a nostalgic playground game will launch Move More – with 12 hopscotch courts set to be installed at various locations around Sheffield, starting at the Moor Market in the city centre, where a Move More hopscotch court will be unveiled.

Last year’s Workplace Challenge was won by Alex Gage Optometrist, after it achieved the most active minutes as part of Move More Month 2017, which saw more than 420 teams and 2,500 participants battle it out to reach the top spot.

The team, made up of five members of staff, clocked up a total of 52,132 minutes between them – which means on average each person moved for 334 minutes each day.

Other participating businesses included major city organisations such as Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield United FC, Sheffield Wednesday FC and Westfield Health, plus media outlets such as BBC Radio Sheffield and The Star, Sheffield.

Professor Robert Copeland, director for the NCSEM and Move More, said: “We’re inviting the whole of Sheffield to join in.

“We know that if physical activity isn’t fun, easy to do and social, then people just won’t engage. So, for Move More Month we’ve created physical activity challenges such as walking and cycling, plus specific challenges in social housing, care homes, schools and workplaces across the city.

“People can take part as an individual or part of a group and will be able to track progress including personal and city-wide activity minutes using the Move More app.”

Other locations where hopscotch courts will be installed include Millennium Square, The Peace Gardens, the Moorfoot Building, Graves Health and Sports Centre, Thorncliffe Leisure Centre, Ecclesall Woods, the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, with more set to be confirmed ahead of the programme’s launch.

This year, Move More is aiming to encourage 50,000 people across Sheffield who are currently inactive to engage in physical activity. It is part of a five-year whole systems plan to make it easier for everyone living in Sheffield to be physically active as part of everyday life.

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.

“As a GP, the longer I spend seeing people in ill health, the more convinced I am of the importance of an active lifestyle which is why I am thrilled to be a part of the Move More initiative for the third year running.

“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.”

The challenge is a web-based team activity competition for organisations and their employees. It uses the Move more app, pedometers and other devices such as FitBits to monitor movement.

To find out more visit: Move More Sheffield