Big Devon March – Help put your workplace ‘top of the league’ 

Mary Youlden
Authored by Mary Youlden
Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 3:43pm

If you own a device which counts the number of steps you take each day, you can team up with work colleagues and enter a Devon wide challenge! 

The ‘Big Devon March’* encourages employees to get out of the office and raise heart rates a little!  If becoming healthier isn’t incentive enough, there are also prizes on offer for those workplaces which lead the way in striding out across the county. Individuals can sign up alongside work colleagues and start ‘collecting’ steps! Those who achieve the highest average numbers will put their company on the leaderboard!  

“Increasing physical activity is one of the most powerful interventions known for improving public health and wellbeing.” said Hannah Worth, Director at Active Devon. 

“Physical inactivity can have real business and economic consequences. Workplace sickness alone is estimated to cost the economy in England £5.5bn a year, so we’re hoping this campaign will appeal to employer and employee alike.”  

“The aim is to help people build a little more activity into their working day and shift the working culture to become less sedentary. Its estimated that for many people 80% of the working day is spent sat down. Sitting for long periods has very negative health impacts, reducing metabolism and increasing likelihood of acquiring conditions such as coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.” 

Following the walkaway success of the initiative in 2018, there’s now another chance for local businesses and their staff to get involved.  

“More than 500 people took part last year and we got some excellent feedback from them.” said Louise Evans, Programme Manager at Active Devon. 

“We will build on that success for the 2019 event, providing more opportunities and support for individuals and businesses who would like to get involved.” 

“It’s great to see the friendly rivalry develop between competing businesses, or different teams within the same company.”  

In 2018 Active Devon partnered with the South West Coastpath and provided  

incentives such as walking poles, socks and maps. Participating organisations will once again be sent introductory information packs to help inspire their workforce and build momentum.  

Active Devon is delivering the Big Devon March as part of Devon County Council’s Access Fund programme “Walking and Cycling to Prosperity”   

It’s hoped more than 1000 people across Devon will take part in the 2019 event. Details about how to sign up, and supporting materials, are available on the Active Devon website

All those taking part in March 2019 will be encouraged to share photos and experiences on social media using #bigdevonmarch 

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