Sunderland residents clocked up enough footsteps to walk around the world twice last month, as part of a city-wide campaign to get people moving more.
Step Up Sunderland, a campaign aimed at getting residents and people who work here to get up, get out and get moving, saw users record more than 100 million steps in its first full month [August].
The campaign aims to encourage healthy competition between people and area teams from right across the city, with the five localities of Sunderland North, Sunderland East, Sunderland West, Coalfields and Washington, battling it out to see who has the most active residents.
Those who commute in the city every day can also compete, as team Non Residents and will be able to use the leaderboard in the app to see which team is stepping up most.
Residents in Sunderland North are currently leading the charge with more than 35m steps, followed by Non-Residents [more than 18m steps] and Sunderland West [more than 18m steps]. Sunderland East [more than 17m], Washington [more than 15m] and the Coalfields [more than 9m] make up the rest.
Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We launched the Step Up Sunderland campaign in a bid to get people moving more to improve physical health and mental wellbeing, and we couldn’t be happier with how it has been received so far.
“To have recorded more than 100 million footsteps within the first month of asking is a huge accomplishment. And it’s not just about improving health and wellbeing, it’s also helping people rediscover the fantastic places they have on their doorstep.
“Sunderland has so much to offer, from seaside walks along our blue flag beaches to heritage sites such as Penshaw Monument and Washington Old Hall, there is so many amazing places to visit and we hope, via the Step Up Sunderland campaign, that more people will be encouraged to visit and utilise more of our fantastic destinations.”
Step Up Sunderland is being backed by businesses and organisations across the city, with its official app – available for free on Android and Apple devices – allowing people to add their steps to the city-wide counter.
And its just as easy for those who don’t have a smart phone. Join and add your steps via the website www.stepupsunderland.com. There will be signs displayed across the city detailing the average number of steps between key points. For this campaign we are suggesting 2,000 steps is equal to one mile.
You could also use a pedometer to record your steps and if you don’t have access to your own computer you can use public computers around Sunderland, for example in our public libraries.
Sunderland Mayoress, Cllr Dianne Snowdon, is delighted by the increasing popluarity of Step Up Sunderland. She said: “Our city is full of amazing places and amazing spaces and if this campaign encourages more people to get out and about and experience parts of Sunderland they have never visited, then it has been a success.
“The fact that we are improving our mental and physical wellbeing too, is a welcome double-whammy. I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet signed up for the campaign to give it a go – it’s a very simple, straighforward process and once you’re in-step with the programme, I’m sure you’ll feel an immediate benefit.
“I will also be using the Step Up Sunderland app to record my steps during the Great North Run and have used it extensively throughout my training. I will be running this weekend to aid the Mayor’s Charity Appeal Fund and Good Causes 2019-2020 supporting Washington Mind and Veteran’s in Crisis.”
Those who sign up can check the app and website for information on events and activities they can take part in to boost their steps, and can receive rewards for getting involved with a number of incentives to encourage people to get on board with the challenge.
The app can be downloaded from the Apple store and Android, or via the website at: http://www.stepupsunderland.com.