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Porters step up to Pedometer Challenge

Staff members at the University of Aberdeen have been putting their best foot forward as part of a new health and well-being drive.

L to R: Allan Fowlie, Charlie Thomson and Jonathan MacleanWorkplaces across the country are being encouraged to take part in the Scottish Government's Healthy Working Lives initiative, which is aimed at reducing work-related ill-health by 20 per cent.

The University has made its own commitment by fashioning a programme of activities, events and promotions due to be run across campus in an effort to secure a Healthy Working Lives Gold Award by 2010.

Part of the freshly launched programme has seen teams from the Sport and Recreation section to Campus Services take part in a pedometer challenge.

Teams of ten have been wearing the step-tallying device for a full week during working hours to gauge how active they are at work, with the University's porters taking on the challenge at the start of September.

Hundreds of thousands of steps have already been counted, and more groups of staff from across the University are now being encouraged to take the pedometer test – and see whether they could benefit from loosening the desk shackles.

Meanwhile, over 60 staff members have already signed up to do the Loch Ness 10K Corporate Challenge in October. And dozens will be given the opportunity to take part in organised walks to Aberdeen Beach and other nearby locations during their lunch hour as part of the wider programme.

Laura Taylor, Healthy Working Lives Co-ordinator explained: "Studies show that although people are aware of the importance of being active, only a small proportion of us actually manage to make the time to do enough activity to benefit our health.

"Exercise not only makes you feel good but it gives you more energy and reduces stress, something that all the statistics show more and more of us seem to be suffering in the workplace.

"The pedometer challenge has really captured the imagination of staff so far and is one way we hope the Healthy Working Lives programme will encourage people to think about how they can change their habits during the working day and improve both their physical and mental health."

Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice-chancellor added: "The health and wellbeing of our staff is crucial to the success of our University. In support of this the University already seeks to promote health at work through a number of ways.

"To further improve health and wellbeing at work, we are committed to seeking a Healthy Working Lives Gold Award by 2010. This will build upon the many initiatives we are already undertaking to support the wellbeing of our staff."

If you think your colleagues have got what it takes to come out top in the Pedometer Challenge contact Laura Taylor on 274162 or to enter a team.

More general information on the Healthy Working Lives programme can be found at



Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Thursday 4th of September 2008

Ref: 236HEALTH

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