Meadowhall trials new fitness technology

Meadowhall Centre is trialling new fitness technology on its malls this month as part of the “Move More” campaign aimed at making Sheffield the most active city in the UK by 2020.

Hundreds of volunteers have been recruited to take part in the Move More Day on Wednesday April 26, starting at 10.15am, where they will register within Meadowhall collecting a special wristband that will monitor their movement and activity whilst at the Centre. Sheffield’s Director of Public Health Greg Fell will also be on hand to trial the technology and officially launch the day.

Special sensor boxes will be deployed in various locations around the Centre where the volunteers will scan their wrist bands as they pass. The scanners will be positioned at various key points throughout Meadowhall, encouraging people to move the full circuit around the Centre. Once each of the target markers is scanned, the volunteer will automatically go into a prize draw to win a £100 gift card. Although this incentive is designed to get people trialling the technology initially, the hope in the longer term is that the core ‘move more’ message and the health benefits will sink with shoppers.

The volunteers will be a mix of all ages and levels of fitness, including Meadowhall’s own staff and retailers.

It will be the first time this type of technology has been installed in a shopping centre in the UK and, if successful, could become a permanent fixture on the malls.

Meadowhall Centre Director Darren Pearce – who will also be wearing and trialling one of the Move More wristbands alongside Greg Fell – said: “I spend a big part of my day on the malls so it will be interesting to see how active I actually am in Meadowhall, particularly when compared to, say, one of our shoppers, a retailer or the security team.

“Sometimes it can be the simple things like taking the stairs rather than escalators that can make a small but significant difference and, hopefully, this trial will highlight that you don’t have to make huge changes to your lifestyle to see a health benefit.”

Move More – backed by various businesses, sports clubs and health organisations from across the region – wants Sheffield to become a more active city through meaningful improvement in the health, wellbeing and quality of life of everybody living in the city. Various events are planned and taking place across Sheffield every month.

Dr Ollie Hart, GP and NHS Sheffield lead for Move More campaign added: “In Sheffield we are making a big effort to help people move more, because we know it is really good for health and feeling good about yourself. The best way to do this is often to fit a little extra activity into your normal everyday life.

This might be striding out a bit when you are walking or shopping, parking a little bit further away in the car park. It’s your life so you’ll know what works best for you, but tuning into the importance of being active is the first step and this Meadowhall trial is a great start. For people to realise that shopping and moving around a big Centre like Meadowhall might actually be good for them, is a brilliant motivator for many who might not consider themselves able to get active.”

The Move More campaign has its own challenge set for 2017 to log more 6.5 million minutes of activity across Sheffield and Meadowhall will now be able to contribute to that tally.
Find out more about Move More events at www.movemoresheffield.com.

The Meadowhall Move More Day also pre-empts with the national “On Your Feet Britain” Day (Friday April 28th) in the same week where workers are encouraged unite and participate in a variety of fun and simple activities to #SitLess and #MoveMore at work.

Meadowhall’s Move More trial is part of a wider wellbeing approach being promoted by owners British Land across its portfolio of shopping centres in the UK.