Healthy Living Blog

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Recent Articles

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.

Customer Story: Orchardhill Parish Church

Adapting To The Community's Needs

Lockdown caused life to change is many ways and for members of Orchardhill Parish Church in Glasgow, Scotland, it meant an end to in-person gatherings. The regular services and the extra curricular social events which are important to so many parishioners were cancelled, leaving church members looking for novel ways of staying connected. The idea of a virtual pilgrimage was raised, and Big Team Challenge was chosen as the platform to help almost one-hundred churchgoers walk the 7,300 kms (4,536 miles) from Glasgow to Jerusalem.


Regular Updates

While on their journey, the church’s minister, Grant Barclay, gave a pilgrimage update on his weekly video sermon, adding his own personal thoughts and stories about the latest milestone the group had reached that week. The challenge organisers, Maureen and Richard Park, used the platform’s messaging tools to send out daily updates and weekly challenges, keeping everyone entertained and motivated throughout the four week journey.


Digital Fundraising

The challenge was also used as fundraiser, with donations being accepted from participants and their friends and family and put towards the various charities the church supports.


18 million steps counted

The church ran their challenge using our “One Big Challenge” mode, where all participants combine their steps towards a single route. This allowed the group to cover the huge distance surprisingly quickly, almost adding enough distance to walk there and back again. In the end, church members clocked up over 18 million steps during the six-week challenge.

Read about our other customer success stories here

New Feature: One Big Challenge

Supporting company-wide distances

Up until recently Big Team Challenge worked as a way of motivating smaller teams into friendly competition with each other. However with an ever evolving working life and with restrictions on personal connections, we opted to make a new feature available on Big Team Challenge.

Instead of teams raking up their own individual distances and following their own progress on the virtual map, every team's distance can now be collated and used to progress the whole company along a single map.

This is a function that can be turned on or off when creating the challenge so it's entirely up to you whether or not you would want to implement this in your own challenge.

Friendly competition is still available

We still believe that a little friendly competition is a good way of engaging with your employees, so teams can still see how others are faring on the leaderboards and encourage each other to walk, run or cycle a little further each week.

Achievements and other features are still around

Nothing else about how Big Team Challenge has been changed. User's can still get achievements based on personal and team distances, connect to Fitbit, Apple Health Kit and Google Fit, as well as invite users, receive messages from the organisers and track their daily activity.

Breaking the 7 billion step count

We're walking to the moon and back again (and then there and back.... yet again).

We reached another exciting goal at Big Team Challenge this week: we reached over 7 billion steps walked together with all of our partners and their participants.

That means that we've collectively walked, cycled, ran, swam, rolled and jazzercised our way to the moon and back again... in fact we're on our return journey for the second time!

We would like to thank our clients for joining us and returning to us year after year and making this big milestone possible.

An average step count of around 10,000 steps per participant

We always hear that number passed around a lot as a good target for everyone to achieve for their daily exercise goal. However, after pouring over our anonymised statistics, we actually found that our participants on average were exceeding this!

This is wonderful news for both us and our challenge organisers. It helps illustrate that Big Team Challenge can help build lasting change in participants, and even help maintain healthy attitudes to pushing yourself further.

Future Step Count Challenges

If you're looking for some inspiration, why not check out our existing challenges and see how others are using Big Team Challenge for the own goals.