A ten week intensive walking and cycling programme, designed to encourage better lifestyle choices, has delivered healthy benefits and lasting change for some members of staff at Eastbourne DGH.
The Active Steps programme is a Sustrans initiative which aims to increase participants activity levels by making it a part of their daily routine. Delivered at the hospital in partnership with East Sussex County Council, groups of staff were introduced to a variety of local walking and cycling routes during their lunch breaks, helping to improve their confidence on the roads in a safe and fun environment. By the end of the programme the group were cycling up to seven miles during their lunch break. Half the group started regularly cycling to work, with many of the participants recognising the health benefits and choosing to leave their cars at home.
One participant of the programme, Michael Say, Procurement Manager, said: “I had struggled to find time to exercise between juggling a young family and work. Since starting the programme I have lost over a stone in weight and I am noticing the mental and physical benefits of a more active and healthier lifestyle.”
Brock Rogers, Active Travel Officer for Sustrans said: “The project had been a rewarding experience for all involved. Eastbourne DGH staff really took to the Active Steps programme and proved that the cold winter months don’t need to be a barrier to cycling to work, especially in a town like Eastbourne which is well suited to cycling given its forgiving topography and well-connected cycle paths.”
Following the success of Active Steps at Eastbourne DGH the programme will continue to move to more locations across East Sussex until March 2020. The next stop will be working with staff at Conquest Hospital in Hastings at the start of May.