How Sunderland has walked around the world TWICE in new steps challenge

Sunderland is stepping up to the challenge!

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 5:30 pm
Sunderland Mayoress, Coun Dianne Snowdon, is backing the Step Up Sunderland challenge

You’ve been taking a ‘walk on the Wearside’ to show your support for a new campaign that aims to get people moving more.

And in the first full month of the ‘Step Up Sunderland’ initiative, more than 100 million steps were recorded in August – enough to walk around the world TWICE!

As part of the campaign, healthy competition is being encouraged across five areas of the city – Sunderland North, Sunderland East, Sunderland West, Coalfields and Washington – to see which is the most active. Non-residents and people who commute to the city every day can also compete.

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Sunderland Mayoress, Coun Dianne Snowdon, will be recording her steps during the Great North Run

So far, Sunderland North leads the way with more than 35m steps, followed by non-residents and Sunderland West, with more than 18m steps each.

Sunderland East, with more than 17m steps, Washington, with more than 15m, and the Coalfields, with more than 9m, make up the leaderboard, which can be viewed on the official ‘Step Up Sunderland’ app.

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “We launched the Step Up Sunderland campaign in a bid to get people moving more to improve physical health and mental wellbeing, and we couldn’t be happier with how it has been received so far.

“To have recorded more than 100 million footsteps within the first month of asking is a huge accomplishment. And it’s not just about improving health and wellbeing, it’s also helping people rediscover the fantastic places they have on their doorstep.

“Sunderland has so much to offer, from seaside walks along our blue flag beaches to heritage sites such as Penshaw Monument and Washington Old Hall, there is so many amazing places to visit and we hope, via the Step Up Sunderland campaign, that more people will be encouraged to visit and utilise more of our fantastic destinations.”

The official Step Up Sunderland app is available for free on Android and Apple devices and allows people to add their steps to the city-wide counter.

Sunderland Mayoress, Coun Dianne Snowdon, said: “Our city is full of amazing places and amazing spaces and if this campaign encourages more people to get out and about and experience parts of Sunderland they have never visited, then it has been a success.

“The fact that we are improving our mental and physical wellbeing too, is a welcome double-whammy. I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet signed up for the campaign to give it a go – it’s a very simple, straighforward process and once you’re in-step with the programme, I’m sure you’ll feel an immediate benefit.

“I will also be using the Step Up Sunderland app to record my steps during the Great North Run and have used it extensively throughout my training. I will be running this weekend to aid the Mayor’s Charity Appeal Fund and Good Causes 2019-2020 supporting Washington Mind and Veteran’s in Crisis.”

For those who don’t have a smart phone but want to take part, they can join and add their steps via the website.

There will be signs displayed across the city detailing the average number of steps between key points, with around 2,000 steps equal to one mile.

People without access to computers are also encouraged to use a pedometer to record their steps and then use public computers around Sunderland, such as in libraries, to record their progress.

Meanwhile, those who sign up can check the app and website for information on events and activities they can take part in to boost their steps, and can receive rewards for getting involved with a number of incentives to encourage people to get on board with the challenge.

The app can be downloaded from the Apple store and Android, or via the website at: