Healthy Living Blog

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Recent Articles

Keeping Remote Workers Motivated

Getting employees moving again

As we enter the eighth month of Covid restrictions it's easy to get into a comfortable pattern and lose motivation. With winter encroaching this is even more present as the nights draw in and the sun all but vanishes during the working day. So why wait another 2 months for the new year to set goals and get things in gear?

Changing up the routine

They say it takes 30 days of a new habit for it to stick. That means that in a single month an individual can build lasting change to their physical and mental well being. This doesn't mean that everyone needs to jump in with both feet first, these changes can start off small. How about changing up a morning routine to get up just 20 minutes earlier to enjoy a short walk and a little more of the sunshine before work? Or swapping out the morning toast and jam for a healthier alternative like porridge...with a little jam as a treat.

Creating a challenge to help

Big Team Challenge is built to help with these changes to participant's habits. Having a team behind you helps build motivation and encourages you to make sure you are contributing fairly. With our challenges running from 28 to 84 days long, we can help your employees or community stay active each day and build those connections. Our step count challenges allow users to see how many steps they have walked each day, compare that to their team mates, earn achievements and unlock milestones.

New Feature: Apple Widget

iPhone homescreen showing the Big Team Challenge app icon and new widget

Introducing the new iPhone widget

When iOS 14 was launched earlier in the year our team went into their usual high gear whenever a new operating system is announced, ensuring our app would continue to work uninterrupted. This latest iOS release also meant that our design and development team also got a fun new opportunity to plan and build a whole new feature: the homescreen widget.

What's a widget?

Apples new widget feature allows developers to build small little apps that run on your phones homescreen and pull in small pieces of information from within the main app. In our case we decided the most fun and helpful feature would be to pull in your step count and team progress straight into the widget. Therefore users at a glance can see exactly how they're doing that day without having to open the app.

Planned Development: Syncing With Garmin

Adding to our list of wearable smart devices

At Big Team Challenge our long term goal is always to build a system which utilises as many technologies and devices as possible so that our users can have the best possible experience.

When participants sign up to join a walking challenge on our system they currently have the option to connect to either their Fitbit account to track their smart pedometers activity, or to sync up with their Apple and Android smart phone apps (Apple Health and Google Fit respectively). This is fantastic for the majority of our users as this allows them to track their progress seamlessly by automatically pulling in their steps from their devices and adding it to their team's total. This leaves them more time to focus on maintaining motivation and pushing their team mates to be more active.

Moving forward with Garmin

Garmin smart watches and GPS tracking devices are an incredibly popular device with runners and outdoor enthusiasts around the globe. This is why it only makes sense for us to bring that functionality into our step count and exercise challenges. We're working closely with the Garmin development team to help enable this feature for future challenges. When we've completed this feature and done sufficient testing, it will be great to launch it and see the response from our participants around the world.

Strava and other exercise apps

While we don't currently have integration with Strava and other activity apps, we do have them on our development road map and will always strive to be as connected as possible to such services in the future.

If you have any ideas or requests, please let us know as we're always looking at ways to make our system better.

Local governments move towards adopting exercise challenges

Keeping up with health initiatives

More and more often we are seeing governments adopting or updating their current health guidelines for local councils and NHS health boards to include workplace and community health challenges. Not only does it seem that the evidence is pointing towards physically healthier staff and citizens, but an increase in productivity and mental wellbeing.

Healthy Working Lives

The Scottish government have gone one step further and produced and entire online resource and award system for employers to engage with. This website gives fantastic advice about how to not only get your staff active and moving, but all of the benefits associated with doing so.

https://www.healthyworkinglives.scot/Pages/default.aspx

Mental Wellbeing - and the importance of getting away from your desk!

A core reason for the development of Big Team Challenge was a way of helping companies find a way to help relieve some of the stress that comes with working in an office environment. In the last 30 years there has been a dramatic shift from and active labour intensive workforce to that of a sedentary office based one. With this change comes a dangerous chance that the population as a whole will be much less active during their working lives. It's important that employers are active in getting their staff engaged in regular daily exercise, whether this is swapping their car ride for a bike, or something as simple as parking further away and getting in more steps before and after work. However, it's not solely the employees' attitudes that needs to change, employers need to think about how they are affecting the mental wellbeing of their staff too. Building policies in place to encourage regular breaks stressful activities is a great way to get started. Perhaps start with putting rules in place to enforce breaks from screens and phone calls and getting those who can to do a quick lap around the building?

To find out how much a bespoke Work Place Challenge might cost you, use our handy Pricing Calculator for free.