Sitting at a desk all day is not easy on your body. Employees who need computer access on a daily basis don’t necessarily have a choice, however, and in the IT industry that is especially true. We found a loophole to office fitness through our Beat the Bosses Step Challenge.
Beat the Bosses is a step challenge where employees are given new teams every Monday to defeat the Executive Team: Nick, James, Jenny and Joel, in number of steps walked that week. This means everyone at Five Nines has had to “step up” their step game each day to win.
According to Very Well, walking has several benefits including a longer lifespan, boosted brain power and even mood and stress relief.
Walking: An idea so simple, yet an action that is so uncommon in the workplace.
Every employee has a fitness tracker of some sort, as Five Nines gave each Niner credit to buy a fitness tracker of their choice. That way, everyone has the ability to participate and track their fitness progress.
What started out as a fun way to compete, (because we are all competitors at heart here), quickly turned into an overall culture shift here at Five Nines. Here’s why.
One-on-one meetings have turned into walking meetings outside. Every employee is allotted one hour on the walking/fit desks if they choose to do so. Around the office you will hear employees joking about “sitting down” so one doesn’t beat the other in steps that day. A fun way to compete. A fun way to promote health.
Looking out the window, you will see employees taking a lap outside of the building every hour or so, to get some extra steps in. This is encouraged by all, and a lot of employees participate.
According to CEO Nick Bock, “Those 5-10-minute walk breaks are a great way to keep your productivity higher during the other 50-55 minutes of work.”
Why is this a culture shift? Employees feel more inclined to get their steps in when everyone around them is also motivated. They don’t have to feel bad for taking a lap around the building every once in a while, because they are positively encouraged to do so.
56 out of the 80 Five Nines employees are participating in this six-week challenge. Over the past four weeks, Five Niners participating in the challenge logged an average of 3,236,659 number of steps per week combined. That would stretch to about 1,532 miles, which equivalent to walking from Lincoln to California. That’s a long walk.
This is week five of the Wellness Challenge, and Five Niners have not lost their fire yet. We believe wellness is for life, and this challenge is just the beginning.