A team of colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) have raised more than £1,700 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
More than 50 employees took part in the charity’s Step Out for Yorkshire campaign, which encouraged people to run, walk or cycle during the month of May to help prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer in the region.
The AWRC is dedicated to improving health through movement and offers academic research and world-leading facilities which focus on the benefits of physical activity.
Professor Rob Copeland, Director of the Centre, said: “Step Out for Yorkshire speaks to the very heart of what the AWRC is all about, transforming lives through the power of movement.
“We know that physical activity plays a huge role in preventing cancer and helping to support people with a cancer diagnosis to prepare for and recover from their treatment.
“Walking, scooting, cycling or even open water swimming, any movement we do can help improve our health and wellbeing and prevent cancer.”
With funding from Yorkshire Cancer Research and in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, the AWRC runs a service to help cancer patients prepare for and recover from cancer treatment.
Active Together provides a bespoke service to people diagnosed with cancer, offering both physical activity and nutritional advice.
Inclusivity was a key focus for the AWRC as part of the Step Out for Yorkshire challenge, and so the team involved people from across the centre, from staff that regularly take on exercise challenges, to first timers.
Jen Parry, Communications and Engagement Officer said: “We wanted to make sure the challenge included everyone, so team members were encouraged to log all of their steps and movement to contribute to the challenge goal. Whether it was a walk to the park or a half marathon it was all important and it all counted.”
From tracking their daily steps and taking part in the lunchtime run club, to weekend bike rides and half marathons, the AWRC team clocked up their activity all month and reached a total of 9,000 miles.
Claire Parkinson is part of the reception team at the centre, and her dedication to totting up miles on her exercise bike helped contribute to the AWRC team’s first place on the campaign’s distance leader board.
She said: “The majority of my miles were done on my exercise bike, and I aimed to do 10 miles every night. I am quite competitive and as I work with a lot of long-distance cyclists, I was determined to try and do as best I could to keep up with them.
“I love that Step out for Yorkshire is a challenge that is aimed at people of all abilities and together we can all step out in our own way, at our own pace.”
Harriet Wingfield, a PhD student at Sheffield Hallam whose research is in cycling and wellbeing, said: “I’m very physically active, but I’ve found that being part of the Step Out for Yorkshire team and having the target to work towards as a group has inspired and motivated me even more.
“I try and make exercise part of my daily routine, and I was sad when the challenge ended, because it has been a really nice reason to get people together and motivate each other to do physical exercise.”