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Sheffield gets on its feet to reach 8.1 million active minutes

The Move More Month comes to a close with record breaking activity across the city

Thousands of people across Sheffield have stepped up to achieve a record breaking 8.1 million active minutes during the city’s Move More Month.

During June, a total of 8,132,528 Move More Minutes were registered as part of a strategy intended to make Sheffield the most active city by 2020.

More than 10,000 people got involved in activities and initiatives held across the city as part of Move More Month, which aimed to get people involved and generate a sense of city cohesion.

Numerous organisations across Sheffield supported the city-wide campaign, including Yorkshire Cancer Research, who partnered with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) to deliver the Move More Workplace Challenge aspect.

The regional, independent charity has supported the initiative with a £50,000 investment as part of its new strategy to reduce the risk of cancer by encouraging healthy lifestyles. Four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as not smoking, eating well, drinking less alcohol, being active and staying safe in the sun.

To encourage participation, more than 400 free or discounted sport and leisure activities were put on by leisure providers for people to try across the city, including trampolining, trail running, walking and swimming.

The Steel City Derby – a competition pitting Sheffield United against Wednesday supporters to see who has the fittest fans – was won by the Owls for the second year running. Sheffield Wednesday fans finished with 437,489 minutes and Sheffield United clocked up 502,395 minutes.

The Workplace Challenge title saw more than 100 workplaces, 420 teams and 2,500 participants battle it out to be crowned Sheffield’s most active business. Importantly for Move More, 57% of the challenge players reported not to be hitting government guidelines for physical activity at the beginning of the competition.

The winning team, as well as top individual mover and most improved movers, will be revealed at a special celebration event, which will take place on Monday 10 July from 5.15pm on the rooftop terrace at Westfield House, Westfield Health’s new head office.

More than 5,000 pupils from 20 schools clocked up 50,000 journeys per week during Move More Month as part of the Schoolyard Challenge.

Professor Robert Copeland, director for the NCSEM and Move More said: “We are absolutely delighted that Move More Month has been such a huge success this year and to achieve a record breaking active minutes total is fantastic.

“Our aim, through Move More Month, is to make Sheffield the most active city in the country by 2020. It is about making physical activity a part of every day life – from walking your children to school, taking the stairs instead of getting in the lift and getting off the bus a few stops early – every little counts and can make a huge difference to a person’s overall health and wellbeing.

“It’s amazing to think that the people of Sheffield have come together in the name of Move More Month. Initiatives like the Workplace Challenge and Steel City Derby have been a great way to boost people’s motivation, keep things fun and create a bit of friendly competition, whilst we have had lots of activities for the older and younger generations to get involved with too. There really has been something for everyone. Perhaps most importantly, we are starting to engage those who are least active and whilst there is plenty more work to do, this is very encouraging for the city”

Dr Ollie Hart, a GP at Sloan Medical Centre, in Heeley, and a key figure behind the project, said: “Although Move More Month has finished, we are keen to encourage people to maintain the same levels of activity that they have achieved during Move More Month and, what’s more, enjoy it.

“We want to change the culture of exercise in Sheffield, making sure that people of all ages and abilities have access to regular physical activity and enjoy of it. We very much see Move More Month as a catalyst for this and highlighting how exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

“We are proud to be leading the way here in Sheffield and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Move More Month a complete triumph.”

Joe Taylor, Partnerships Manager at Yorkshire Cancer Research, the official partner of the Workplace Challenge, said: “We can’t wait to welcome the Workplace Challenge participants to our special event. We were overwhelmed by the number of organisations that signed up. The number of steps they completed is truly incredible and just shows what can be achieved when exercise is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“Being a part of the Move More initiative has been fantastic for the charity. We’ve been able to reach so many people with our lifestyle advice, highlighting how people can reduce their risk of cancer through regular exercise. We hope the people of Sheffield continue to be active for many years to come.”

For more information about activities taking place across Sheffield through Move More Sheffield providers visit www.movemoresheffield.com/providers

Move More makes the BBC Breakfast red couch

Prof Rob Copeland talks about the success of the Move More Month 2016

BBC Breakfast came to Sheffield to film a piece about the city-wide initiative, Move More Month - a physical activity programme designed to get people on the move.

They spoke to Dr Ben Heller of Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Sports Engineering Research about the Move More app which was co-designed by SHU and the University of Sheffield.

Professor Rob Copeland of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine and Sheffield Hallam's Centre for Sport and Exercise Science was also live on the sofa reviewing the month-long campaign.

Go to BBC