People in Wiltshire are being invited to fundraise for Diabetes UK as part of a drive to highlight the importance of knowing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
The One Million Step Challenge runs from 1 July - 30 September and is said to be ideal for anyone looking for a way to get more active.
Individuals are challenged to take one million steps over the course of three months – around 10,000 steps per day – and get sponsored for every stride.
The call-out to sign up comes at the beginning of Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week (which runs from 23-29 May), an NHS England initiative supported by Diabetes UK.
This year’s campaign aims to focus on raising awareness of the risk factors that contribute to developing the condition, the steps people can take to reduce their risk, and the support that is available to help them.
Diabetes UK said almost 2.4 million people in England are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. However, research is said to have consistently shown that for some people, combined lifestyle interventions – including diet, physical activity, and sustained weight loss – can be effective in reducing their risk by about 50%.
The diabetes charity says moving more – by spending less time sitting down and more time being active – is known to help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes UK says the One Million Step Challenge is perfect for anyone looking to get more active this summer – and anyone keen to help raise funds for the charity and the work the it does for people living with all types of diabetes, as well as those at risk of Type 2 and gestational diabetes.
Phaedra Perry, head of Diabetes UK south west and south central, said: “Walking is a fantastic way to help you get fit and could help to reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, so the One Million Step Challenge is perfect if you want to take steps towards a healthier you.
“You can take on the challenge alone, or better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved – it’s a wonderful way to get active this summer while raising vital funds for Diabetes UK along the way.
“Type 2 diabetes is serious and, without treatment, it can lead to devastating complications with your eyes, heart and feet. We really want to help people understand their risk and the first step is to complete our free Know Your Risk tool. By taking just five minutes, you will have the power to access information and support that could change your health for the better.”
People taking part in the One Million Step Challenge do not have to limit themselves to walking. They can choose to jog, skip or even dance to reach their target. Whichever way they choose to move, they will need to take around 10,000 steps a day from 1 July to reach their one million-step goal.
The challenge also features two other options. The charity says any increase in daily steps is beneficial for health, so there is the half-a-million-step challenge, perfect for those short on time or for anyone who may find taking 10,000 steps a day difficult. There is also the 1.7 million-step challenge for those who really want to push themselves this summer.
Individuals can sign up to the One Million Step Challenge at step.diabetes.org.
Diabetes UK’s free online Know Your Risk tool can be accessed at riskscore.diabetes.org.
Those who are advised to be at moderate or high risk can directly sign up to their local Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme.