Pictured are the top three participants in Lewis and Harris to complete the ‘Walk 500 Miles step count challenge’: Murdo Maciver (2nd), Jane Bain (1st) and Sarah Marnoch (3rd).

NHS Western Isles’ Walk 500 Miles step count challenge won the Healthy Staff Award at the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network (SCPN) #WeCanICan Conference in Edinburgh on 5th February 2018.

NHS Western Isles’ Health Promotion Department submitted a written brief on the step count challenge along with a three-minute video showcasing the initiative.

The video was screened at the #WeCanICan conference and was voted the winning initiative by delegates.  SCPN was particularly delighted to recognise the work going on in one of the smaller NHS boards in Scotland.

SCPN is focused on moving evidence on cancer risk reduction into everyday life, practice and policy and the SCPN Healthy Staff Award aims to showcase initiatives from across the country that encourage NHS staff to adopt lifestyle behaviours which reduce cancer risk.

Walk 500 Miles took place across the Outer Hebrides between May and September 2017. Participants aged 18 years and over aimed to walk 500 miles and chose one of three awards aiming for either 7500, 10000, or 12500 steps per day.

The Florence (Flo) Telehealth text messaging system was used to log steps on a daily basis and an amazing 130,000 miles of steps were logged during the challenge.

The step count challenge was widely promoted throughout the NHS Western Isles workforce and attracted staff from many of our services and 65 members of staff undertook the challenge and encouraged their friends and family to join in as well.

The first person to complete the challenge in 8 weeks was Jane Bain from NHS Western Isles’ Occupational Health and Safety Dept. Jane said: "I’m really chuffed at finishing first! The Walk 500 Miles challenge was a good incentive to get everyone up and walking about more.

“It was also a good conversation piece - whether friendly banter in competition or advice and tips to help each other reach the daily goals. It also gave me a new item for my 50 new things to do before I turn 50!”

The £500 cash prize attached to the Healthy Staff Award will be used by NHS Western Isles on a further initiative encouraging NHS staff to adopt lifestyle behaviours which reduce cancer risk.