Canterbury and West Coast District Health Boards are officially the most active organisations in New Zealand in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).
Five hundred and 88 staff from across the Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB took part in this year's challenge and collectively trekked 542,607 km – or 14 times around the world.
Over the course of the 112 day event, staff walked, swam and cycled an average of 13,263 steps, or 8.5 km, each day – more than any other organisation in the country, and the third most in the Asia Pacific region.
David Meates, Canterbury DHB and West Coast DHB chief executive, says staff members have every reason to feel proud of their achievements. "We are the biggest employer in the South Island and our staff have had the most challenging three years imaginable. The GCC is one of the ways we're investing in the wellbeing of our staff, and I am absolutely delighted with the results," Mr Meates says."Being active is one of the best things you can do to be healthy - it helps reduce stress levels, makes you more productive, and improves overall mental health."It's great to see the health sector leading from the front and showing that small changes in lifestyle can make a big difference to your health."
Before the competition began 19 percent of participating staff met or exceeded the 10,000 steps per day recommended by the World Health Organisation. By the end of the 16 week competition, 79 percent of competitors were reaching this target. The number of participants achieving 5000 steps a day rose from 72 percent at the start of the competition, to 99.8 percent at the end. The highest performing team was '5 Up, 5 Down', who walked an incredible 12,289 km during the three months of the competition.
Keri Hodgman, Canterbury DHB financial analyst and 5 Up, 5 Down team member, says the result reflects some great team work. "We discussed our results each morning and used that comparison as motivation to keep on going, even on those wet, dreary, and snowy days," Keri says.
He says the event gave everyone the opportunity to be role models to their family and friends.
"We were motivated not only for the personal rewards of improved health and wellbeing, but wanted to set an example of how seemingly great achievements can be made by making small changes on a daily basis."
The GCC is a 16 week worldwide competition focused on getting people active every day and more than 262,000 people from around the world took part. Last year the Canterbury DHB received an award for being the second most active organisation in New Zealand.
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