02 September 2014

The first-ever 20 Million Steps event will take place this weekend (5th to 7th September).

About 20 Million Steps

Families, couples, individuals, community groups, businesses, societies and clubs are all being asked to complete a walk of their choice and then log the number of miles they walked and how many people have completed that distance.

Northamptonshire County Council will be counting everyone’s steps until the county as a whole reaches the target of 20,000,000 steps.

The challenge has been issued in response to recent statistics which show that Northamptonshire is the fifth fattest county.

Where to walk

People can walk anywhere they choose and can log their distance via the county council’s website.

Specific walking opportunities are also available in country parks, town centres and libraries:

  • Country parks – on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm volunteers will be at each of the five country parks (Brixworth, Sywell, Irchester, Barnwell and Fermyn Woods) to log people’s steps. Country park routes range from 667 steps to 24,000 steps.
  • Treadmills – there will be treadmills in Northampton, Wellingborough and Kettering town centres this weekend for members of the public to try out. People will be asked to contribute to the 20 million steps target by either walking ½ mile (1000 steps) or 1 mile (2000 steps).
    • Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September
      (10am to 3pm):
      Grosvenor Centre, Northampton
      Wellingborough Library
    • Friday, Saturday & Sunday (10am to 3pm):
      Newlands Centre, Kettering
  • Libraries – libraries across the county are holding their own 20 Million Steps events for people to take part in and do some steps. Activities include children’s treasure hunts and toddle-abouts.
  • Corby Borough Council is supporting the 20 Million Steps weekend with various activities including a walk from Corby Boating Lake.

What is this challenge all about?

County council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing Councillor Robin Brown said: “We’re setting this challenge because recent data has shown that Northamptonshire is the fifth fattest county. We want to change this and we need everyone to do their bit, and walking is a great place to start.

“Walking is fun, free and good for everyone’s wellbeing. It has some real health benefits, including maintaining a healthy weight, reducing blood pressure, building healthy muscles and bones, improving balance, increasing good cholesterol and reducing the risk of falls. Plus being more active reduces the risk of getting serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon and breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. And people who stay active get less stressed, sleep better, feel better and have a 30% lower chance of getting depressed.

“Hopefully we’ll see lots of people walking and logging their steps so that we can reach our collective goal of 20 million steps in one weekend.

“This is an opportunity to be part of something the county can be proud of and even better - this could be the beginning of a positive new habit for many people, whether they go for a walk with family, friends, colleagues or just want to take time out for themselves.”

For more information about everything happening during the 20 Million Steps weekend visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/20millionsteps or follow the event on Twitter @2020Northants or Instagram @2020Northants, #20millionsteps