Clean bill of health for NHS Shetland staff

An NHS workplace has been awarded our Walk at Work Award after hosting its own Step Count Challenge and creating an active culture during the working day.


30 NHS Shetland employees took a cumulative 15,069,748 steps in a bespoke challenge that ran for over four weeks. 

The commitment shown to encourage staff to take a break throughout the working day and get out for a walk also helped the team achieve a Walk at Work Award, our accreditation which celebrates employers who embrace a walking culture.

Gareth Davies, a Sustrans Scotland project officer based with NHS Shetland, said: “Paths for All's Walk at Work Award has proved to be a really helpful guide for us to better facilitate walking, which can contribute to increased wellbeing among staff.

“We have been able to utilise many resources provided by PFA and this has really given us an impetus to carry on promoting walking and to enter future Step Count Challenges. 

“Through the initiative we have looked at ways to encourage walking for staff, such as active travel information on inductions, daily mile suggestions and hi-viz packs for community nurses who are out and about.”
NHS Shetland recently introduced a transformative policy which allows staff, in appropriate departments, to wear their uniform during lunchtime walks. The initiative was inspired by staff and planned with senior management and the infection control team. 
This combination is hoped to motivate staff to get their steps up and some fresh air during lunch times, and so boost mental and physical wellbeing.

Gareth added

We had positive feedback from staff on the Step Count Challenge with many highlighting it gave them motivation to get out every day for exercise and to clear their heads during what’s been a challenging time.
We would thoroughly recommend other workplaces looking to take part in the Step Count Challenge and the Walk at Work Awards to do so.

The Step Count Challenge has the simple aim of encouraging people to walk more to feel happier and healthier, with participants having access to leader boards, goal setting and team chat to keep them motivated and connected. 

Businesses can register a team of five for just £30 – and can customise their own challenges with tailored branding and personalised messaging.