Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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University Hospital Waterford (UHW) Inaugural Step Challenge took place between 14th February and 18th March 2018 (5 weeks). This health promotion initiative aimed to encourage staff to improve their activity levels during the dreary winter months, thereby optimising their health, while having a bit of fun with their work colleagues. Interest in the step challenge was amazing with over 135 teams and entries spanned all departments of the hospital. Teams consisted of 4 members so in total over 600 staff took part. The initial challenge was to select a team name and we had wonderful entries, the winners being Ob'step'tricians (Obstetric dept), 'Breast foot forward' from the Breastcare dept and the 'Flabbybottomists' from the Phlebotomy dept. Staff utilised pedometers, fit bits, mobile phone apps to monitor their daily step count. Competition was strong with weekly prizes awarded for the best team, the most improved team, best desk based team. Discussions were keen at staff gatherings as staff recounted their efforts to maximise their daily step counts - week 3 certainly posed a challenge as the snow fell hard but it did not deter our 'steppers'. The event culminated with a prize giving ceremony where the aptly named 'Bravehearts' from the Cardiology department received the overall winners award. As a organisation embedded in healthcare delivery, UHW is highly supportive of any initiative that optimises health status among it's workforce. It is hoped that this highly successful step challenge will become an annual event in the calender of UHW.

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