Duty to help staff raise awareness of their fitness

Following the two previous successful summer Get Active campaigns, last year Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) Newcastle Technical Centre (NTC) held its own World Cup 2006 Challenge. It was also invited to take part in the first Legal & General/British Heart Foundation Think Fit Challenge which ran for eight weeks.

This was launched to encourage organisations to put in place or increase the level of physical activities of all employees in the workplace. NTC aims to have a workforce that is happy, healthy and here. These activities encourage healthy competition, keep morale high and help with team building. They are fun activities which take place outside of work time and at very little cost. NTC’s participation was consistent with P&G’s global "Healthy Living" strategy to partner with employees and their families to preserve and improve the quality of their health and wellness. When the employee and their family are healthy, that is healthy for P&G business.

NTC was awarded the title "Healthy Employer of the Year" because of the innovative programmes it put in place. Its World Cup Challenge divided the 340 employees into eight teams representing some of those competing in the football World Cup. Activities included a Walk the World challenge where all employees were given pedometers and asked to submit their mileage weekly. They totalled 13,790 miles, which was more than half way around the world. Five-a-side football, rounders and a badminton knockout competition were held. A mystery challenge was also arranged to cater for the less physically active, enabling them to shine with their problem-solving skills.

The activities ended with a fun evening in which the teams competed for the fastest time across the River Tyne and back in a bell boat, a catamaran-style canoe.

A healthy celebration breakfast concluded the challenge and the winning teams in each discipline and overall victors were presented with trophies.

The Think Fit Challenge certainly made people think about their health and wellbeing. This was demonstrated at an open day where we had displays of fitness equipment and healthy eating options. All this helped raise employees’ awareness of fitness.