Ayrshire workplaces are urged to join a walking challenge this spring to keep their bodies and minds healthy.

Scottish walking charity Paths for All has launched their spring four-week Step Count Challenge where teams of five co-workers are encouraged to walk, wheel and cycle together.

NHS Ayrshire and Arran staff will be participating after doing last year’s autumn challenge and walking an impressive 2.2 million steps.

Kathryn Bone, 59, from Girvan was recognised as the Step Count Challenge Champion for her efforts.

She said: “This was the first time taking part in the challenge and it was a fantastic experience with everyone rallying round each other to keep the momentum and motivation high for the duration.

“The challenge was a great way to bond with colleagues and we found all sorts of ways to get our steps in.

“When the weather was really bad, we would walk around the hospital or take the long way to lunch – which turned into a bit of a laugh.

“The team enjoyed it so much that we have decided to take part in the spring challenge.”

Registered participants will have access to leader boards, a goal setting system and a team chat as well as a carbon calculator that lets people see the positive environmental impact of their efforts.

Last year over 830 teams across Scotland took part in the spring challenge as 4,059 individuals racked up a record of 2,224,660,960 steps or 995,375 miles and saved 31,551 kg CO2e of carbon.

Chief executive officer at Paths for All, Kevin Lafferty, said: “The workplace is where the majority of us spend a great deal of our day, so it’s incredibly important that we encourage staff take a break from the screen, stretch their legs and put wellbeing at the forefront of their minds.

“Walking is one of the simplest things we can do to improve our physical, mental and social health.

“You don’t need any special equipment and it can be incorporated into the working day.

“Both employers and employees need to play a part in making the nation healthier and happier – in both a work and personal sense – and this challenge is one way to put your best foot forward.”

Workplaces can register a team of five for £30 and can customise their challenges with unique branding and personalised messaging.

Participants can use the code SPRING23 for 20 per cent off if they register before the end of March.

Register your team here: www.stepcount.org.uk.