Looking back at Fitness February!
In 2014 ORS decided to revamp its company-wide Health and Wellness strategy. A part of this was the introduction of Fitbit bands for eligible ORS employees, with an invitation to join the newly created ORS Corporate Challenge competition.
Fitbit provides each registered user with their own ‘activity dashboard’, where employees can track their individual results and opt to either share or keep private their personal stats. Skipping to the ‘Community Activity’ area, Fitbit allows the creation of private and public groups, where individuals can join and compete against each other. ORS has utilised this technology to create its own company group ORS Group, which is a private group that can only be joined by invite-only.
As employees join the ORS group, they are able to see a real-time leader board where all the group participants are ranked according to their Steps, Distance Travelled and Very Active Minutes.
Dubbed ‘Fitbit February’ our first Corporate Challenge went off with a bang! Employees really got into the spirit of the Fitbit competition, and many discussions were overheard where employees were comparing their stats, talking about their fitness goals and encouraging each other to compete through friendly competitive camaraderie. Employees are now also easily identifiable by the blue ORS Fitbit band that many are wearing in the workplace!
The first three winners were invited to write a short piece to share with their colleagues on how they motivate themselves, share their fitness goals, and any fitness tips or tricks they might have.
Marko – I attempt to follow my morning routine every day, if for any reason I miss my morning run I make up for it in the afternoon, after work. My daily goal is a 14 KM run on top of my general walking throughout the day.
Amy – I do weight based training for an hour and a half 6 days a week. I leave my weekly cardio for when I train for crossfit and soccer (indoor and outdoor). I didn’t like training when I first started but as soon as I saw results coming out of all the hard work it pushed me to do more. I have cut out a lot of bad foods and sugar from my diet (chocolate isn’t bad, right…?) and drink 4L of water every day. I make sure I get lots of protein to ensure my body is getting enough energy for the type of training I do. I love that this fitbit challenge is making everyone competitive and its exciting looking at the leader board to see if you need to push yourself a little bit further to hit first!
Kylie – I have been visiting the pain management clinic in Hobart for several months now, due to chronic back pain, and part of the pain management plan is to increase my fitness. I have suffered from chronic back pain for many years, due to being born with mild Spina Bifida, and Scoliosis. A later work accident (1989) causing a fracture in my lower spine has resulted in Spondylolisthesis and Arthritis issues in my lower spine. Further, I had a hip replacement in 2010, due to Osteoarthritis in my hip. I use other methods for pain management as well, however recently have gained a lot of weight due to being quite sedentary at work. My weight gain has led me realise that I need to get moving more in order to regain some level of fitness. Having the Fitbit challenge, has given me real motivation, and it is great to be able to see how many steps, and how far I am actually walking in an average day. I check my steps on the dashboard when I get home from work, and if I have not reached the level that makes me happy, which is generally around 15000 for the day, I will usually go for a further walk. I was very surprised to find myself in the top 10 within the first couple of weeks. This encouraged me to try harder, and aim for a higher ranking. I did not expect to be in the top 3, so this has been very encouraging for me. I am now in the habit of walking every day. I am lucky to live close to my work, so I now drive my car to work early in the morning and park it in the work car park. I then take an extended walk home. I then shower, have breakfast and get ready for work, then walk back to work. This way, I have my car work, in case I need to visit any clients who are not within walking distance. I usually manage to walk approx. 5 km each day before work. I also walk to visit local employers throughout the day. I also go for an evening walk after work most days as well.
Also in the month of February (it was a busy month!) ORS acknowledged the Australian ‘Healthy Weight Week’ and the ‘Feb Fast Challenge’, providing employees with information and resources on how to live healthier lifestyles. For two weeks in February ORS also undertook a ‘Get Moving for Fitness February’ activity, which involved a daily, physical site activity to help staff get moving and warm up for work. Comprising of dynamic stretches these low impact movements were aimed at improving employee’s range of motion and loosening up their muscles, whilst increasing their heart rate, body temperature and blood flow to help them move more efficiently. Whilst certainly providing a lot of laughter, this activity got our employees up and moving which was great to see!
ORS gave a special mention to one of our Regional Managers Robyn, who encouraged and motivated her staff on a daily basis to participate in these activities. ORS needs managers like Robyn to demonstrate motivational leadership to transform our workplace culture into a healthy, fit and active one.
Robyn – The staff in Wollongong are always talking about the ORS Challenge and pushing each other to do better. The site was having a tough day, you know those days where nothing seems to go right and everyone was feeling a little low. I had noticed that the movement activity for the day was to move your hips and thought this would be a great idea to lighten the mood in the office. I called everyone that was free into training room and we all got down wiggling those hips. Well it was hilarious, some staff were experts and just needed the hoola hoop to complete the look. Others, myself included, struggled to complete the task in an elegant fashion and ended up looking like a group of bears trying to scratch our backs on a tree. Needless to say, everyone had a giggle, the mood in the office was lightened and we all got some exercise for the day.