This year, more than 30,000 teams from 600 organisations took part across 118 countries – making it a truly Global Challenge. Over the course of this year’s event, members travelled a total of 259 billion steps – a distance of 166 million kilometres (nearly 103,147,618 miles) – or 414 laps around the equator.
In the past three years, more than 1 million people have taken part in the Global Challenge event, which encourages participants to build healthy lifestyles by focusing on 4 key lifestyle areas: physical activity, nutrition, sleep and mental wellbeing.
Dr. David Batman, member of the Virgin Health Science Advisory Board and International Occupational Health Adviser, says the team aspect of the challenge provides the support that some people need to make a lifestyle change.
“Individuals can find it hard to do simple exercise by themselves, for themselves,” Dr Batman says.
“But in a team environment, people don’t want to let their teammates down. They find themselves getting active, enjoying the friendly competition and getting healthier along the way. Plus the extra social activity helps to improve mental health.”
Global Challenge participants have made significant improvements to their health including:
- 74% of participants now achieve 10,000 steps per day vs. 21% pre-Global Challenge
- 60% of participants who track their weight shed an average of 3.5kg or 7.7 pounds.
- Participants averaged 19 minutes more sleep per night
- 58% of participants reported an increase in concentration and productivity
- Nearly two-thirds of participants reported improved energy levels
“The Global Challenge provides individual health benefits, but it also provides a healthy bottom line for businesses, too,” Dr Batman says.
In fact, following this year’s event, 70% of participants reported a decrease in stress, which is significant given that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified stress as the “health epidemic of the 21st century.”
“Employees come to work with more energy, enthusiasm and focus. They’re happier – and that helps with all sorts of areas including productivity, team building and communication benefits.”
Plus, there are the benefits of decreased absenteeism and presenteeism, and an engaged workforce.
Each year Virgin Pulse recognises the most active organisations globally for their organisational and employee commitment to improving their health and wellbeing. The top 3 most active organisations honoured in 2019 include: 1. GSK; 2. ABB; and 3. Ingersoll Rand.
“We’re thrilled that GSK has been crowned the World’s Most Active organisation for the Global Challenge once again. We’re committed to continuing to develop our health and wellbeing programme to ensure that our employees are motivated to continue building and enjoying their new lifestyle habits” says GSK, VP Global Employee Health and Wellbeing, Arne Hugo.
Organisations can sign up to run their own Global Challenge events, or they can take part in the main 2020 event, starting Wednesday 27 May.
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About Virgin Pulse Global Challenge
Part of Virgin Pulse’s suite of employee wellbeing and engagement solutions, the Global Challenge is a turnkey event that fuses science and entertainment to engage employees, via a team-based virtual journey, in setting, tracking and achieving their health and wellbeing goals. Virgin Pulse Global Challenge draws upon the latest aggregated health information and outcomes shared by employees who have successfully completed the Global Challenge award-winning, 12-month health and performance program. These insights, from 5,500 of the world’s leading companies across 185 countries and combined with the latest independent research, provide employers with new perspectives and practical recommendations to improve the health and performance of their workforce. For more information visit: virginpulse.com/global-challenge
Source: Virgin Pulse Global Challenge 100 Day Journey – Global Final Report 2019