Civil servants stepping toward good health

James Myles, foot slogging from the Bodden Town Primary School to his office in the Civic Centre. - Photo: Jewel Levy

Government is taking steps to boost the fitness of its civil servants by hosting the “Every Step Counts” pedometer challenge, and government workers in Bodden Town are taking it in stride.

Promoting health and fitness across the government sector, the challenge focuses on workers making positive changes to health and wellness.

Workers have been equipped with pedometers and have been handed a 21-day challenge to take 10,000 steps per day.

On Wednesday, James “Jamo” Myles was seen on Anton Bodden Drive in Bodden Town, pounding the streets in an effort to rack up his tally.

The scheme started on Jan. 18 and runs until Feb. 8.

Winston Sobers, chairman of the Pedometer Challenge Committee, said the benefits of living a healthy life are not only physical but emotional and mental as well.

“The pedometer challenge gives you the push this time of year after Christmas to get going. It creates an excellent opportunity to work with others in a challenging and exciting way to achieve health goals,” he said.

Up until midday Wednesday, Mr. Sobers, who is on team Office Attorney General Watch Dogs, was leading the pack in the male category with a total 511,129 steps, racking up a daily average of 63,966 steps. But by 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Sobers had been overtaken by Ruel Huet, who until then had been trailing him in close second.

The Twin Step pedometer being used in the ‘Every Step Counts’ challenge.
The Twin Step pedometer being used in the ‘Every Step Counts’ challenge.

According to Mr. Sobers, the initiative started at the Attorney General’s Office in 2013, when he came up with the idea. In 2015, the pedometer committee was formed and brought to the whole of the Civil Service.

He said the object of the challenge was to make people aware of their physical activity levels, and to promote day-to-day consistency. The 21-day time frame was chosen because the duration is generally considered long enough for people to start forming a habit.

Stepping his way to good health, Mr. Myles said he covers a lot of ground each day.

“I did not know how much I was walking exactly, so when I saw this pedometer challenge offered to all civil servants, I said to myself, this is a great way to know how much I really cover each day,” Mr. Myles said, making his way on foot to his office at the Youth Services Unit in the Bodden Town Civic Centre after leaving the Bodden Town Primary School.

Not satisfied to get just himself in good health, Mr. Myles entered all the staff of the Youth Services Unit, which is part of the Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth and Sports.

“I tested my pedometer prior to the challenge, and I was taking approximately 11,000 steps a day,” he said.

He says the challenge has created the avenue to push himself to be more active. “Now I average approximately 20,000 steps daily, and I feel great. But I always did feel great,” he said.

Mr. Myles is currently ranked 33rd in the men’s division out of 419 walkers. His steps total stands at 175,533, with his team ranking 14th of the 36 teams.

In the women’s division, leading the way is Daphine Watson of Turtle Troopers, who has accumulated a total of 377,319 steps, with a daily average of 47,165 steps.

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  1. There are lies, damn lies and the readings of some peoples’ pedometers. Some of the statistics are ridiculous, you would think the Cayman Civil Service is a hotbed for ultra-marathon runners.

    Whilst it is a great idea, especially for truffle shufflers like me, there are plenty of dubious steps being entered.