Counting steps to get healthier together

Sep 1, 2017

Getting healthier and being part of the team are the most important reasons that make Valmet employees walk an extra mile – literally.

How does walking around the world thirty-three times sound? That is what Valmeteers have just done. Quite a walk!

Valmet has just participated for the second year in a row in the Global Challenge, a workplace health and engagement program for companies all over the world. For the 100 days between May 24 and August 31, around 2,000 Valmeteers, divided in teams of seven, counted their steps in a virtual journey around the world – the team to walk the farthest would win the whole challenge. In the Global Challenge, physical activity, like walking, biking or swimming, is rewarded with steps, which counts towards daily totals; a minimum of 10,000 steps per person is the daily goal.

Good for your health – and fun

The desire to get healthier, to be part of the team and to have fun together were the major arguments for participation along with wanting to lose some weight. And, of course, the opportunity for teams to compete against other teams of Valmeteers made the whole challenge even more exciting and fun. The “fun-aspect” is also evident through the names of the teams – Elite 7, Calabash Brothers, Run4Fun, Mission Slimpossible, The Magnificent Seven, RunForrestRun – just to mention some.

Finding opportunities for exercise everywhere

In all 286 enthusiastic teams from all over the world took the challenge and consistently collected activity steps. The sky was the limit as the teams figured out different opportunities to get in extra steps – walking before or after work, of course, but also walking around when waiting for one’s flight to board, choosing the stairs instead of an elevator, and even taking a longer way back to one’s desk after a coffee break.  And the teams did really well. When starting the challenge on May 24 the average daily step count per person was 12,646; the final week´s step count average in August was already 15,106.

Extra kick to team spirit

For many participants, the challenge has opened a totally new way of life with healthier routines that cover not only physical exercise but also wellbeing in a broader sense.

The health benefits of the program are clear: 67% of the participants reached the target of at least 10,000 steps a day, up from 21% before the challenge. Many Valmeteers also talk about a better work-life balance, enhanced quality of sleep and even weight loss. And an added bonus is the extra kick the challenge has given to team spirit – something that is mentioned by most of the teams!

“It has been fun to see and hear all the wonderful stories about the great team spirit and memorable moments the teams have shared. Of course, I am also more than glad that so many of my colleagues also feel the positive health and wellbeing impacts of the challenge”, says Julia Macharey, SVP Human Resources.

“What I personally find very valuable is that the Global Challenge engages every kind of Valmeteer, regardless of their age, gender, profession, location or even state of health. It is for everyone, and it demonstrates our effort to strengthen our winning team in a fun and engaging way,” Julia concludes.