Nestle and other employers take up challenge to improve staff wellbeing

Employers including Nestle, AstraZeneca, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Zurich, Cadbury Schweppes and Ernst & Young have signed up to participate in the Global Corporate Challenge in a bid to improve employees’ health and wellbeing.

The challenge encourages staff to get fit by taking part in a virtual walk around the world over a period of 125 days.

Employers that participate in the challenge, enter teams of seven members of staff who will each wear a pedometer and count the steps they take each day. Employees should aim to take 10,000 steps per day and then enter their total in to the GCC website. This is the first year that the GCC has involved employees in the UK.

Nestle has already signed up 160 teams from the UK, Ireland, Germany and Australia. Dr David Batman, group chief medical officer for Nestle UK, said: “Within Nestle UK, we have a simple wellbeing strategy, to promote good nutrition, exercise and mental resilience. The GCC is an incredibly fun and simple way of encouraging employees to get more active and can be easily implemented into people’s busy every day lives. It fits perfectly with our [business] strategy. It’s highly visible, has measurable results, is cost effective and most importantly really excites people.”

Sue Connelly, global health and wellbeing manager at AstraZeneca, added: “AstraZeneca’s success is, at least in part, linked to the health and wellbeing of our staff – we depend on them for innovation and enterprise. Physical and mental health and wellbeing are key. For this reason we are encouraging our staff globally to sign up to the GCC event and increase their activity levels.”

The event starts on 22 May and finishes on 23 September 2008.