Gateway staff climb Kilimanjaro… without even taking a day off

February is National Heart Month. So four staff at Gateway are taking part in a British Heart Foundation challenge – to climb the equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro… at work!

Maxine, Justine, Jamie and I are taking the “stair climb challenge”. Our target is 2578 flights of stairs – the equivalent of walking up Mt Kilimanjaro – between us.

It sounds dramatic but, after some nifty calculations from Maxine, we’ve broken the total down to an average of 33 flights of stairs each a day. At that rate, we can “reach the summit” within 25 days (five weeks of five working days).

Here’s a little video that shows the intrepid climbers as they begin their latest ascent.

We decided to give the stair climb challenge a go after reading about it on the BHF “active at work” website. We’ve been promoting to the people we work with for a while now, so we thought it only right that we give it a try ourselves. As the site says, “Employees who are physically active at work enjoy it more. […] They’ll have better concentration, be more mentally alert, and have greater rapport with colleagues.”

We’ve all found it fairly easy to fit in some extra flights of stairs as part of our working day. Maxine says, “It’s actually quite easy to fit the stair climb into your daily routine. And when you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s nice to have an excuse for a quick break.”

For Jamie, this is the latest part of a long term weight loss plan. He’s massively improved his health since starting at Gateway over 18 months ago. And at the end of the first week, he’s ahead by some way. “I’m doing a mini workout every lunchtime,” he says. “I walk up three floors, three times. It all adds up.”

All of us are already starting to see the benefits of a little extra exercise every day. Justine says, “for the first couple of days I was out of breath after coming upstairs to work in the morning, but I’m already coping better. If I can feel like this after just a few days, I hope that five weeks of it could really make a difference. By the end of the challenge, I’d love to have buns of steel!”

If you’d like to give the stair climb challenge a go yourself, have a look at the British Heart Foundation’s Active At Work website.