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Top surgeon gives verdict on Everest Challenge

Last month, the Royal London, one of the UK’s best known hospitals took on our original stair climbing challenge and asked staff to climb Everest on the hospital stairs.

This epic stair climbing feat would see staff take 1.6 million steps in just 3 weeks and collectively burn 137,000 calories.

We asked Tom Konig, Vascular and Trauma Surgeon at the Royal London Hospital to give us his verdict on the challenge and the impact it had on hospital staff.

"The StepJockey Everest Challenge has taken the Royal London Hospital by storm!

We have 17 floors in the hospital from the emergency department on the ground floor up to the helipad on the roof. Our lifts are a law unto themselves, so StepJockey has been a wonderful initiative to take us away from the lifts and onto the stairs. It’s proving a great opportunity to keep us moving and get fit at the same time.

Stair climbing is an easy yet intense way of raising our heart rate and staying active while at work. It's certainly something I would recommend to all."

As a vascular surgeon, cardiovascular fitness is vital to staying healthy. By avoiding obesity we reduce our risk of diabetes and improve our cardiovascular fitness.  Tom Konig

Stepping up to the challenge

"The challenge has created healthy competition throughout the hospital between our engineers, our surgeons, our visiting students, and our research teams to name a few. Everyone is smiling and chatting both going up and down.

We don't have gym facilities on site, so this has been a perfect way to stay fit and build exercise into the day. Stair climbing is a great way to slowly and steadily keep active every day, all year round.

During the challenge I set myself the goal to ditch the lift for a week and I felt so much better for it.

The overall happiness and competitiveness amongst the stair climbing staff has been palpable. We had a common goal and there was a realisation that by  taking on the challenge together we were in fact working to improve the care for our patients.

Visitors tend to be sent in the direction of the lifts when visiting relatives and loved ones. It would be nice to encourage them to use the stairs instead and with time as the app gets wider publicity I'm sure this will become more common. Who knows, soon people may be coming to the hospital just to clock up their daily steps!"

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