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Sadaf Yamin

StoneSprings Hospital Colleague launches step challenge for mental health.

June 07, 2024
Sadif Yamin's supporting colleagues at StoneSprings Hospital Center

Physical activity has the potential to enhance our wellbeing. According to the American Psychological Association, taking a walk can boost mental health, and even moderate amounts of exercise can help ward off depression. Adults who get the recommended amount of physical activity each week – about 2.5 hours of brisk walking – can lower their risk of depression by 25%.

As a physical therapist at StoneSprings Hospital, Sadaf Yamin sees this connection in her patients every day and launched a “step challenge” for colleagues.

“Sometimes patients who are depressed or anxious do not want to participate in therapy or even perform everyday tasks, like getting out of bed,” Sadaf said. “Mental wellbeing and physical activity go hand-in-hand. When a person is moving and exercising, the endorphins and other brain-boosting chemicals elevate moods and improve cognitive function.”

Sadaf and her family are avid walkers and hikers and have participated in physical activity challenges with friends, so creating the step challenge at StoneSprings Hospital came naturally for her.

“Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, I wanted our hospital to show support for this important issue," she said. “The step challenge married these two factors: taking steps together in support of mental health and raising some funds for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which does advocacy work, education, and provides support for clients and families.”

Walkers used an app to calculate their daily steps and encouraged each other to meet or exceed their goals.

“It not only got us more physically active, but we built support and camaraderie with each other,” Sadaf said. “Sometimes all it takes is a simple walking challenge to break down silos and help us connect as colleagues.”

Forty-five colleagues signed up and walked more than 11 million steps and donated $700 to NAMI.

June 07, 2024
StoneSprings Hospital Center