Domestic assistant Elaine, who works for Birch Green Care Home in Skelmersdale – part of the Springhill Care Group – was surprised to find that she had covered more than 23,000 steps in one day.
This was more than double the NHS 10,000 steps-a-day challenge or five miles which is also running nationally.
The group – with two homes in Lancashire and one in Bristol – handed out pedometers to all of its 400-plus staff to encourage them to take an interest in their fitness levels as part of its Caring Heroes initiative.
In the first week alone, Elaine made 178,000 steps, equivalent to almost 90 miles and averaging more than 17,000 steps per day as she went about her work supporting residents and helping with other domestic duties at the care home.
Elaine, who has worked at Birch Green since January 2015 and lives in Skelmersdale, said: “It’s a great idea to assess how much you really walk in a day. I hadn’t really got a clue, and I had estimated that I did about 8,000 steps per day when we started it.
“I feel better knowing that I’m walking at least the 10,000 steps per day recommended by the NHS, and I’m aiming to make at least 15,000 steps per day longer term.”
Staff will be able to set personal goals and to track them over time, and data collected will also help the care group understand how it can better support its employees.
The company is already operating a range of activities including offering staff healthy menu cards detailing easy and affordable recipes, and providing fresh fruit to encourage healthy eating.
Recently the group also launched a programme where its homes will be visited by a registered nurse offering staff assistance and advice on a range of topics including stress and anxiety, blood pressure and weight.
The health and wellbeing drive comes following the launch of the wider national Caring Heroes campaign by the group, designed to put care staff in the public spotlight and raise awareness of the important job they do.
To express support for its campaign, Springhill Care is asking people to tell their stories on Twitter using the hashtag #caringheroes.