Reaching Rio success

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A workplace challenge encouraging teams to ‘travel’ to Rio resulted in more than 8 million calories being burned.

Reaching Rio ran from the start of April to the end of June and was open to West Sussex workplaces. The challenge encouraged teams to take up physical activity and converted exercise into miles to take teams on a virtual journey from London to Rio, as the next Olympic city. Logging activity on the Reaching Rio website, from walking to football or dance to swimming, saw teams progress along the route on an interactive map.

Over the course of the challenge:

• 534 people took part with 110 teams

• 17,468 activities were logged

• 971,439 miles were travelled between London and Rio

• 19,603 hours and six minutes of physical activity were logged

• In total 8,303,422 calories were burned

The West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board backed the challenge. Chairman Louise Goldsmith said: “Reaching Rio was fun to do and engaged a lot of teams, encouraging people to take up more physical activity to get fitter and healthier. We’ve had very good feedback from participants and I’m pleased to say we’ll be launching a new challenge next year, so please watch this space.”

Teams wanting to sign up ready for the 2014 challenge can do so via the website at www.reachingrio.org.

People who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, strokes and some cancers. It can also boost self-esteem and mood, as well as reduce the risk of stress, depression and dementia.

It’s recommended that adults aim to achieve 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity physical activity. Reaching Rio not only encouraged people to be active, but also to take up new sports and activities.

Comments from participants included:

• Certainly had more fun with my team in the office, it has created a good feeling and helped to get to know my colleagues a little better.

• I loved it and I did everything I set out to do. It helped having a challenge and I have improved my fitness, lost some weight and increased my participation in exercise.

• We enjoyed the challenge and found ways to increase our activity around our daily routine. I have walked to more appointments and tried out some new classes. We have signed up to try new activities throughout the Rio challenge and still have some of these to go as we didn’t expect to finish so soon. Looking forward to the next challenge.

In a closing survey, 97 percent of 120 respondents said they had increased the physical activity they do as a result of Reaching Rio.

Louise added: “Reaching Rio was very well received and a good, fun challenge. But you don’t have to wait until next year for the next one, we can all enjoy a healthier lifestyle by being more physically active, so why not embark on your own challenge now to take up a new sport, walk more, or any other physical activity that you might not normally do?”

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