A Global Corporate Challenge Awards Ceremony took place at Bradford College to mark the achievements of 175 members of staff who took part in the world’s largest corporate health initiative: the Global Corporate Challenge ®.
They joined a 180,000-strong legion of workers worldwide who walked, cycled, swam, skipped and even salsa danced their way through the ultimate corporate health challenge in a bid to reverse the sedentary lifestyle plaguing full-time workers, returning sustained health, morale and productivity perks to the workplace.
In a demonstration of true commitment to the challenge (GCC) participant Lewis Whittaker even wore his pedometer on his wedding day! In total 175 record breaking Bradford College staff achieved a total combined 289,437,287 steps, which is an overall distance of 185,240km and equates to walking around the world 5 times! They burned off the equivalent of 24,313 large burgers or 71931 glasses of red wine or 46,532 slices of cake.
Helen Farrar, Yorkshire Craft Centre Exhibitions Officer commenting on how it felt to be involved in the health initiative said: “I lost weight whilst participating in the challenge, so I was really pleased! I walked to work and got into the habit of doing it so, I felt a lot healthier and happier as a result.”
Christian McGrath, Staff Development Officer added: “It was wonderful to be involved in the GCC as it encouraged me to go out for a walk on the evenings when I wouldn’t necessarily have gone out otherwise.”
Stephanie Griffiths, Account Manager, GCC was on hand to present awards to Bradford College staff. Speaking at the event Stephanie said: “Bradford College has had a fantastic time in the GCC, achieving 15, 751 steps which is 5 x more than the average worker.
“Bradford College also ranked 15th most active organisation out of 122 companies entering between 20-49 teams. This has been a fantastic achievement!”
Commenting on the corporate health initiative, Safety Officer Tracy Michael said: “Many employees spend an unhealthy amount of time seated - at their desks and in their cars travelling to and from work. We want to empower our employees to shake up their sedentary lifestyles and incorporate some beneficial physical activity into their daily lives. Global Corporate Challenge® provided a great way to achieve this. This initiative is part of our ongoing commitment to the health and wellbeing of out staff and students at Bradford College. ”
Starting the challenge on May 24th 2012, Bradford College employees teamed up over 16 weeks to work together to boost their daily physical activity levels, both in the workplace and at home. Adopting more health-conscious lifestyle habits Bradford College staff met the equivalent of World Health Organization’s (WHO) active lifestyle recommendation of 10,000 per steps day.
Increasingly desk-based roles plus modern conveniences mean today’s typical employee takes just 3,000 steps per day, a far cry from the WHO recommendation. With inactivity linked to a host of chronic - and increasingly common - health conditions including obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, some cancers and depression, this shortfall presents a serious personal health threat to employees.
It also presents their employers with a valuable opportunity for positive change, one that Bradford College has firmly grasped.
Brian Kendrick, Occupational Health & Safety Manager said: “The GCC has been terrific for the College and such a successful campaign. Its been wonderful to see so many people across the college joining in and getting involved.”
Tracy Michael, Safety Officer added: “Investing in the long term wellbeing of our employees is an important step towards a happy and healthy workforce. We want our employees to feel good and to perform at their best, both in the workplace and out.”
Not only have Bradford College helped to improve the health of their own employees, they’re helping the community as well. For every adult employee participating in the Global Corporate Challenge®, Bradford College also sponsored a local student to participate in the free-of-charge Global Children’s Challenge™, a classroom-based health program which encourages physical activity and the formation of healthy and life-long daily exercise habits.
“Community involvement is an important component of Bradford College’s Corporate Social Responsibility commitment, so we are delighted to support these children in getting active and healthy for life” said Tracy Michael.
Vice Principal Andy Welsh concluded: “It’s absolutely fantastic to see the buy in that we have had from across the College for the initiative. It has engaged people in every different area of the College in huge numbers and they have all been so motivated into doing so well. It’s very heartening for me to see people working together in teams and pulling together for something that is good for their health and moral. It’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially when you have a stressful job.”
Bradford College’s has been proud to join more than 1,500 organisations globally in the 2012 Global Corporate Challenge®, and step up for the health and happiness of the employees and community who support organisations like us” said Tracy Michael.