20 August 2014

Volunteers are needed to help with the upcoming 20 Million Steps weekend taking place on 5th to 7th September.

20 Million Steps

The 20 Million Steps weekend will see county residents be challenged to go for a walk during the 5th to 7th September. 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.

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

About volunteering

Volunteers are needed in various locations across the county where people will be able to register their steps including the county council’s five country parks.

Volunteers are needed each day between Friday 5th September and Sunday 7th September from 10am to 4pm.

Cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Councillor Robin Brown said: “We need more volunteers to help count the steps during the 20 Million Steps weekend.

“Whether you can spare a few hours or a whole day, it’s an opportunity to help make this event a success and to make sure the county reaches the target of 20 million steps in three days.

“Not only will achieving 20 million steps be a real achievement the whole county can be proud of, it’s also a great reason for everyone to go for a walk, spend time with family or friends, get some fresh air and improve their health and wellbeing and help the county be happier and healthier by 2020.”

To find out more about volunteering email 20millionsteps@northamptonshire.gov.uk

People can follow the 20 Million Steps challenge on Twitter @2020northants and Instagram @2020Northants, or visit the website www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/20millionsteps

The benefits of walking

Please see below an excerpt from the Walking Works summary report.

"We know that physical inactivity causes heart disease, breast cancer and even early death. We also know that many of these problems could be prevented if everyone began to move more.

"The UK Chief Medical Officers say that adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, like walking, every week. Kids should be active for an hour every day.

"But in England some studies have suggested that only 6% of men and 4% of women actually achieve this. One in three people don’t even manage 30 minutes a week.

"The simple fact is that getting active can save your life.

"We could prevent 37,000 deaths every year, just by taking a walk.

"Being active also slashes the risk of getting these serious diseases by 20-50%:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • type 2 diabetes
  • colon and breast cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease

"And the benefits don’t end there. Being active:

  • helps you stay a healthy weight
  • increases ‘good’ cholesterol
  • reduces blood pressure
  • builds healthy muscles and bones
  • improves balance
  • reduces the risk of falls.

"If everyone in England got the message about being active it could prevent:

  • 36,815 people dying prematurely
  • 12,061 people going to hospital for emergency coronary heart disease treatment
  • 6,735 cases of breast cancer
  • 4,719 cases of colorectal cancer
  • 294,730 cases of diabetes."