St Andrews challengers step out...and cover 56,000 miles

The winning team who put their best feet forward in annual challenge. From left, Ros Campbell, Catriona Wilson, Michelle Paterson, Lynn Neville and Eilidh Harris (team captain). (Picture: Gordon Thomson.)
The winning team who put their best feet forward in annual challenge. From left, Ros Campbell, Catriona Wilson, Michelle Paterson, Lynn Neville and Eilidh Harris (team captain). (Picture: Gordon Thomson.)

Walking is as easy as putting one foot in front other, so they say, so stepping out as part of a challenge is a simple enough but, as staff at St Andrews University have proved, the results can be staggering.

Thirty-three teams have been taking part in the national Step Count Challenge and have clocked up 112 million steps in the process – the equivalent of walking more than 56,000 miles or, to put it another way, more than twice round the world.

The top team was made up of staff from the Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development (CAPOD) and between them, Ros Campbell, Catriona Wilson, Michelle Paterson, Lynn Neville and team captain Eilidh Harris walked a total of 5,824,066 steps during the eight-week challenge – that’s more than 2900 miles.

An achievement in itself but all the more so considering Lynn started with a bit of a disadvantage – she was on crutches from a skiing injury.

The top St Andrews team’s performance also earned it seventh place in the national league table of 884 teams taking part from across Scotland.

In all, 165 staff from all over the university signed up for the challenge.

Members from teams will be getting together next Wednesday at the Byre Theatre to reflect on the challenge, discuss the benefits and how it has helped them to change their habits and lifestyle.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work to encourage staff to adopt healthier lifestyles and healthier habits at work,” said Jos Finer, head of organisational and staff development.

“Last year nine teams took part and our aim had been to double that so it’s a sign of just how much people are engaged that we ended up with three times the level of participation.

“It has also been great to see the level of commitment across all the teams – to have covered so many miles is amazing.”