Thier workplace has demonstrated tremendous work with regards to consulting with Participants and Staff about their physical activity requirements, promoting increased awareness around physical activity and encouraging all to get active through our physical activity programmes.
Goirtín attended an award ceremony in The Gibson Hotel on Wednesday 15th November where they collected their Bronze Active@Work Award. Goirtín signed up for the Active@Work Award with The Irish Heart Foundation and after this a team was formed to promote the Step Challenge within the centre. Their first goal was to set about drawing up a questionnaire so they could evaluate the physical activity levels of the participants.
This was necessary before any exercise programme was drawn up. Goirtín carried out a questionnaire prior to starting the Step Challenge to try and ascertain people’s levels of physical activity and whether or not they were interested in becoming more physically active. They also looked at how they would like to achieve this. From the questionnaire it was evident that the participants preferred walking as a form of exercise and from this Goirtín felt the Step Challenge was most appropriate for the centre. The walking football initiative was also set up as a further supplement to the Step Challenge.
Step Challenge encourages employees to build up to the recommended 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity five days a week, in their own time, such as walking or jogging during lunch or walking to and from work. Each employee receives a walking diary card to record their minutes of activity and a certificate of achievement on completion. The Step Challenge calculates steps taken and each Participant received a pedometer to keep track. 17 people initially signed on as having an interest in doing the Step Challenge. At the end of the programme they managed to keep all 17 people and gained three more participants. So at the end of the Step Challenge 20 participants filled in the employee survey. The Step Challenge was met with great excitement; some of the participants were walking a little, maybe once a week and were eager to get started on the challenge. There was great commitment from everyone.
Earlier in the year Goirtín took part in The Operation Transformation programme which was a great lead up to the Step Challenge. The Participants were in the zone for the challenge. Walking was a great activity to start with as it can be done with no cost and can be built upon regarding distance and level of intensity. Walking is naturally enjoyable and boosts their motivation levels in the process. The Team rolled out activities by promoting events and displaying messages around the centre, especially in busy locations like on notice boards, in the canteen and at the front entrance. These areas highlighted community opportunities for active, healthy living. Events were planned that focused on Physical activity. There is a notice board in the centre that is solely dedicated to Healthy Ireland. Participants were introduced to a nearby fitness Gym and a location that does Yoga. The centre set up a specific notice board for the step challenge which got regularly updated about events and walks.
The Goirtín team also carried out an evaluation questionnaire post the Step Challenge Programme. From this questionnaire they wanted to ascertain if people had become more physically active as a result of the Step Challenge. The prior questionnaire revealed that 10 out of 17 people were not physically active at all. Of the 7 that were active, 4 were active once a week and 1 twice a week and 2 more than twice a week. The post questionnaire revealed that all 20 participants said they were more physically active as a result of the Step Challenge. The post questionnaire also looked at lifestyle changes that may have occurred as a result of the Step Challenge. Some of the results are as follows, eating healthier foods, being more active, drinking more water, joining the gym and continuing with the walking routine.