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Stepping up to Health

The pedometer challenge elicited an enthusiastic response.

Fifty-eight steppers in the first ever civil-service wide pedometer challenge took almost 9.3 million steps over 21 days, the audience heard at the closing ceremony on Friday 6 February 2015.

During this time, participants reported the steps that they took on a daily basis in a web-portal at www.caymanactive.com/everystepcounts. They also attended educational sessions on topics that included fitness, nutrition and stress management, as well as taking part in biometric testing.

Organisers say the intention was to make civil servants aware of the benefits of healthy lifestyle practices, such as: increased physical activity, revamping eating habits which contributes to the enhancing and maintaining overall wellness.

Coordinated by the Pedometer Challenge Committee (PCC) with the support of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association, entrants came from smaller civil service entities such as the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), Office of the Complaints Commissioner, Ministry of Health and Culture, Office of the Auditor General (OAG), Portfolio of the Civil Service (PoCS) and Government Information Services (GIS).

PCC also teamed up with lifestyle organisation, CaymanActive, to develop an open website - touted to be the first in the Caribbean - that enables workplaces to form teams to boost their collective physical activity.

"This is important because sedentary lifestyles contribute to increased risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. This in turn increases healthcare costs, curtails productivity and seriously impacts the quality of family life," PCC member Winston Sobers explained.

Additionally, a number of local businesses teamed up to provide prizes for winners (through the kind support of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association). "We are very grateful to our sponsors and to CICSA for assisting in this process," Mr. Sobers acknowledges. These were LIME, DART, Dolphin Discovery, Cayman National Bank, Smoothie Factory, Himalaya Pharmaceuticals, Winners Circle Sports, Green Machine, Universal Fitness, Kirk Market, GNC, Subway and Smoothie King. Support also came from the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association (CICSA), Cayman Active, CINICO, Therese Prehay and Public Health, Tanya Foster, the Department of Facilities Management, Radio Cayman, Department of Tourism (DoT) and GIS, he outlined.

Top prize winners were the OAG - overall champions with 3.14 million steps. Auditor General Alastair Swarbrick received the trophy from Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose.

Among individuals, the top male stepper was Ruel Huet (OAG) with 872,229 steps. The female winner - Marcia Murray (Ministry of Health and Culture) - totalled 420,652 steps. Each received $50 gift certificates and a 7" Alcatel tablet from LIME that was presented by LIME Head of Retail, Danny Tatum.

Cory Martinson (ICO) bagged the trophy for creating the best healthy shake/smoothie in a competition held earlier in the challenge. Also Patrick Smith (OAG) won the gold in "Cayman Pride" competition, sponsored by DoT, for the best photo of nature snapped while stepping.

Additionally, the closing ceremony on Friday featured another fun, fitness-related event - a Minute to Win It challenge that included a number of contests over three rounds. This was keenly fought by the ICO, PoCS and GIS. In the end, GIS team-mates Stephon Johnson, Kara Coe, Yvette Cacho and Martha Connolly prevailed over the other competitors for the win. Judges for this event were CICSA Vice President, Mr. John Bothwell and Mr.Stanford Lindo (OAG).

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani




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