The fifth annual Move More Month kicks off next week with the aim of getting thousands of people across Sheffield to be more physically active throughout June.
Although lockdown restrictions have eased to allow unlimited outdoor exercise, this year presents a new challenge as many people will continue to spend most of their time at home over the coming months.
The initiative comes at a time when the government has signalled its intention to pursue a public health drive and encourage more people to get walking and cycling.
Whilst last year’s Move More Month saw the city set a Guinness World Record for the most people playing hopscotch simultaneously, the 2020 programme focuses on the mental health benefits of exercise – which include better sleep; happier moods; managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts; better self-esteem; reduced risk of depression; and connecting with people.
Over 50,000 Move More Month Activity Calendars will be distributed across the city and provide a month of ideas to help people ﬁnd ways to build activity into their days and support positive mental health.
Daily suggestions include:
- Wednesday 3 June: ‘Complete a number of laps of your house, garden, balcony or local green space, like Captain Tom Moore’
- Thursday 11 June: ‘Clap for keyworkers! Can you march on the spot for the whole time you are clapping?’
- Sunday 21 June: ‘The ﬁrst day of summer. Spending time in green space or connecting with nature can have huge health beneﬁts. If you are able to, why not spend some time outdoors today?’
Move More Month has been created by the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) based at Sheffield Hallam University’s Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre, part of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. In previous years, the initiative has seen people across Sheffield get active and record their physical activity to see how many combined minutes the city can record in a month.
Dr Anna Lowe, NCSEM Programme Manager, said: “There is a strong link between physical activity and mental health. Lockdown has made it harder for many people to stay active, and this is coupled with worry about our loved ones and the reduction in social contact that many people are experiencing. Being active is a key mechanism for supporting good mental health and, in challenging times like these, it is more important than ever.”
Move More Month builds on the success of the recent Active at Home project, which has seen advice booklets delivered to thousands of older and vulnerable people in Sheffield over the last month.
Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield, said: “‘It’s really important that people stay active. Muscles waste away quickly if we are inactive and the result is deconditioning which makes it harder to do everyday tasks. Avoiding inactivity and finding ways to be active is really important and the Move More Month calendar is full of great ideas to help boost our physical and mental health.”
There are numerous organisations across the city supporting the programme, including Sheffield Teaching Hospitals; Sheffield City Council; Sheffield Health & Social Care; Sheffield Children’s Hospital; Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group; University of Sheffield; English Institute of Sport Sheffield; Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Voluntary Action Sheffield; Sheffield City Trust/ Sheffield International Venues; and South Yorkshire Housing Association.
Participants are invited to share a selfie of being active to social media, using the hashtags #StayInWorkOut and #MMM2020, and tagging @movemoresheff, on Twitter and Instagram.
For more information about Move More Month visit www.movemoresheffield.com