Eleven colleagues at Pont Newydd Medical Centre in Porth are taking on a challenge to improve their own fitness and support Diabetes UK Cymru, inspired by their patients with diabetes.
The team of colleagues, led by GP Karen Pascoe, are taking part in the charity’s One Million Steps Challenge. Challengers must walk more than 10,000 steps a day in order to reach a total of one million by 30 September, getting sponsored for every stride.
The team of colleagues includes pharmacists, nurses, healthcare assistants and receptionists, some of whom had been told they were at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes themselves.
Dr Pascoe said, “I was looking for a challenge to bring us together as a team and encourage us all to be a bit more active. We see a lot of patients living with Type 2 diabetes, and are all conscious of the lifestyle factors that can put you more at risk of developing it.
“It’s been very enjoyable so far. I’ve been updating my steps each day. Some days I get to 20,000 and some days only 3,000, but tracking our progress is a great motivator. We are hoping to organise some group walks before the end of the challenge.
“The most important thing is that everyone is doing more than they would have been without the challenge.”
Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. There are around 194,000 people in Wales living with diabetes, the highest prevalence in the UK, and 90 per cent of those have Type 2. It is estimated that a further 60,000 people in Wales are living with Type 2 diabetes but are yet to be diagnosed.
People might get Type 2 diabetes because their family history, age and ethnic background puts them at increased risk. They are also more likely to get Type 2 diabetes if they are overweight. However, as many as three in five cases of Type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed by maintaining a healthy weight, eating well and being active.
Joseph Cuff, Fundraising Manager, Diabetes UK Cymru, said: “We’re so grateful to the team at Pont Newydd Medical Centre for taking on this year’s One Million Step Challenge. They are all improving their own fitness while raising awareness of the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes, and setting a positive example to their patients and colleagues.
“There is still time to sign up to this year’s challenge. You can take on the challenge alone or, like the Pont Newydd team, get a team of friends, family or colleagues involved. You can walk it, jog it or dance it. The money you raise while you do it will fund our fight for a world where diabetes can do no harm.”
To sign up for the One Million Step Challenge go to www.diabetes.org.uk/step