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Olympic challenge to get staff on the move

With the London Olympic Games fast approaching, Olympic medallists are lining up alongside health experts to encourage NHS staff to get active in the run-up to 2012.

Triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and swimmer Stephen Parry were on hand with Dr Steve Boorman, author of the 2009 review into NHS staff health and well-being, and Mike Farrar, NHS champion for sport and physical activity, at the launch of NHS Challenge in London last week.

The scheme challenges trusts to involve 2,012 of their staff in more physical activity. This in turn will encourage staff to become advocates for healthier lifestyles for family, friends and patients, it is hoped.

The idea was inspired by a touch rugby initiative at the Heart of England trust in 2008. Over 400 people took part and a survey showed a clear impact on the health and motivation of staff and their families.

Mike Farrar said: ‘If we can promote a more active NHS we are setting a good example. We want 300,000 more NHS staff involved in physical activity by the time the Games start.’ More information is available at



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