I’m on a team. I took the survey. I’ve got the app. I’ve fired up the device and tested it out for the last few days. I’m all set for the start of the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) tomorrow.
What is the challenge? It’s a challenge designed to help employers encourage “a culture of health” among their employees. As the 100 day challenge proceeds, I will write more reflectively about the message, the rhetoric, the experience, and anything else that comes up as I get more familiar with it.
It’s new to me but it’s not new. I have no idea how long Western, my employer, has been doing it. But from the extent of participation campus-wide–with around 200 teams of 7 people each–I think it’s been going on for at least a few years. Globally, there are 333.284 teams.
The challenge starts tomorrow, May 25th, with step counting. As usual with step goals, 10,000 appears to the be the magic number. But it’s not simply a physical challenge. After a certain number of days they introduce a “balance” component for people who are seeking “simple ideas for busy minds.” Then later in July there is a GCC sleep component.
I filled out the “lifestyle score” survey and, I have to say, I was a bit shocked at my results. I’m not sure how it is even possible that I got a mere 25% on physical activity and 48% on nutrition. I won’t even tell you the low score I got on “mind,” I think because (1) I said I’m stressed out a lot of the time and (2) I got too philosophical about the meaning of happiness as I decided which box to check.
Anyway, at least with those low scores there’s a lot of room for improvement. And it’s a relief that my “heart age” is 51 years and 0 months, which is a bit younger than my actual age of 51 years and 8 months. I was worried it would turn out to be older based on my other low scores.
My team is made of colleagues in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. We are in the process of picking our team name, since FAH Team Four isn’t all that inspiring.
I’ve been experimenting with the little step counter device. It’s a very simple thing that does nothing other than count steps and sync with the phone app. It zeroes itself automatically every day at midnight.
It’s not waterproof, but you do get credit for swimming — amazingly generous credit: 1000 metres converts to 4750 steps. On swim days I’ll have my 10,000 before 8 a.m. You also get to add 300 steps per kilometre on the bike.
I wish it had started on Friday because I’ve had some amazing days this long weekend, including a 21 kilometre run this morning that got me to 27,000 steps on a day when, other than that, I sat in front of the laptop working on the blog book Sam and I are writing.
Count at the end of the day: 30,256. Granted, this will not be a typical day because I will not run a half marathon distance every day, not even once a week.
I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m always up for trying something new. I know my team members but haven’t ever worked with them on anything other than work before, so this will be an interesting experience in that respect as well. I think the challenge has a lot of good things going for it, so I’ll keep an open mind. But it’s not perfect (I’ve already seen some rhetoric in the “participant pledge” about moving away from “lazy options” and I hope that’s not a recurrent theme).
So here’s to some healthy fun, team-building, better sleep (fingers crossed), less stress (toes crosses), and a critical look at what a global effort in producing a “culture of health” looks like.