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Details of the spending were released in a recent tender notice issued by the HSE Health and Wellbeing Division for the supply of Healthy Ireland branded pedometers.
The tender states that the pedometers will support the delivery of staff health and wellbeing initiatives, such as its Steps to Health challenge.
The pedometers will also be used for the delivery of self-management support programmes by community physiotherapists, as part of the implementation of Healthy Ireland.
In 2016 the HSE Health and Wellbeing Division purchased 3,000 units, a HSE spokesperson stated.
“These were primarily used to support the Steps to Health staff health and wellbeing initiative in 2017.”
The Steps to Health initiative is a five-week challenge encouraging staff to walk more, with the aim of walking 10,000 steps daily.
Teams and staff members register to participate and are eligible to win prizes for best team names or novel video clips, for example.
Free step counter apps are available on smartphones, information on which is provided to participating HSE staff, yet pedometers are still freely supplied by the HSE to staff.
According to a HSE spokesperson, the purpose of the tender is to ensure a uniformity of product and a standard fair price, as well as public procurement compliance.
“The pedometers/step counters that may be purchased as a result of the tender will likely be used in staff health and wellbeing initiatives as well as patient-focused programmes that promote and support physical activity for health,” said a spokesperson.
“The tender documentation provides an estimated annual expenditure, however, the HSE also reserves the right to not make any purchases of product.”
The new supply contract will commence in December and last at least two years.