over 50s jargon buster

In an attempt to boost the health and wellbeing of Shepherds Friendly employees, twenty excitable head office members of staff took part in the British Heart Foundation pedometer challenge.

The rules were simple:

  • Four teams of five people
  • Two weeks to compete in two stages
  • Take as many steps as you could to win a great prize.

STAGE ONE: The Proclaimers Vs. The Walking Dead

After a strong lead from The Walking Dead in the first week, The Proclaimers fought their way back and swooped in towards the end of the second week to take the lead and claim first place at the top of the pedometer challenge leader board!  The star stepper for the first stage was Financial Operations Team Leader, Suzie Eckersley, who managed to walk a breath taking 181,467 in just two weeks!

STAGE TWO: Happy Feet Vs. the Red Hot Chilli Steppers

Team Happy Feet had their early lead disrupted when two of their team members were taken out by illness during the first week of their pedometer challenge, which meant the rest of their team members had to really increase their stepping activity.  The Red Hot Chilli Steppers never really got going and team member Max Jarrold was awarded ‘The Laziest Stepper’, who took a grand total of 47,514 steps. So even though illness threatened team Happy Feet they walked all over their opposition by miles (quite literally).

The Results

All those who took part in the pedometer challenge and the rest of the Shepherds Friendly staff team found out the results a couple of weeks after the challenge ended. Even with a Star Stepper in their team The Proclaimers missed out on the top spot by a whopping 35,000 steps for Happy Feet to take first prize.
The end results were:
Happy Feet                         681,674 Steps

The Proclaimers                 646,059 steps

Walking Dead                     632,252 steps

Red Hot Chilli Steppers       365,741 steps


There was a great competitive sprit in the air throughout the pedometer challenge month, and further benefits were easy to see. Our staff members reported feeling more active, less stressed, and more likely to take an extra few steps a day!

The pedometers used in the challenge were provided by The British Heart Foundation. They provided us with a pedometer challenge pack as a way to get our staff active and improve our mental and physical health. The difference was felt all around the office.

Our marketing manager, Libbi Martin, said:

“Trying to get 10,000 steps a day was harder than I first expected. Having it at the forefront of your mind really encouraged you to make little changes, which all add up. I felt healthier, more active and more aware of the activity I did throughout the day.”

Suzie Eckersley, our financial operations team leader, was the star stepper over the course of the challenge.  She said:

“To try and get extra steps in each day, I started going out at 6-7am on the canal towpaths near where I live in Marple.

“It was really good timing for me, as when we started at the beginning of June, I was 3 months away from getting married and needed to increase the amount of exercise I was taking for ‘Operation Fit Into Dress’.

“Over the 2 weeks we did the challenge, I felt I had much more energy and it’s actually a really great way to wake up.

“I’ve actually continued to go out every weekday morning before work. It’s helped me to lose weight, tone up, aided better concentration and sleep better too.”

Lisa Young, Health at Work Project Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Regular walking can help to give your heart the workout it needs and reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Try to be active every day and remember that every ten minutes counts. A walk to work, at lunchtime or with family and friends in an evening will soon add up and help to keep your heart healthy. Aim to build up to 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity e.g. brisk walking a week.”

If you would like to take the pedometer challenge, or for more information on the British Heart Foundation and the challenges they can help you with, please click here.