OS employees take on the Global Challenge

If you haven’t heard of Virgin Pulse’s Global Challenge, it is a 100-day challenge to encourage employees to transform their health, wellbeing and engagement levels. With more than 3,000 participants around the world, the Global Challenge is one of the biggest and most highly-anticipated events on the workplace wellbeing calendar. According to their 2018 stats, 80% of participants felt it had a positive impact on their relationship with exercise while 65% said that their company offering membership made it a better place to work. 

Making up 22 teams, 154 colleagues from OS signed up! Since February they have been measuring their daily activity, setting goals and inspiring each other to make healthy choices. So far, we have raised £2,000 for Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity (our corporate charity) and this will only increase!

More than 400 teams from around the world are competing and, we’re delighted to announce that the OS team Geo-Fit is topping the leader board in first place! The team consists of Andrew Dixey, James Terry, Fabian Koenig, James Morrison, Kat Bower, Hazel Slawson and Slawomir Bruszkowski. A couple of them weren’t available for a photo but we managed to get 5 out of 7! 

Here Team Captain Andrew Dixey, Data Quality Analyst, tells us more… 

Why did you take on the challenge?

I put out an email to the first 6 people I could think of that might be interested. I didn’t choose people based on their ability but for their attitude. Everyone in the team is someone I knew would tackle this with some enthusiasm and so far, that’s exactly what everyone has done. 

Initially it just seemed like something fun to do that wouldn’t be too disruptive to my usual routine. However, I think we’ve shifted gears a bit now though. It’s still fun, but now we want to keep up the good work and have a crack at the top spot! 

We still have a lot of work to do so we’ll see what happens as the challenge continues, but whatever the result I think everyone can be proud of the effort put in so far.  

What are you doing differently as a result of taking part?

I think the team were fairly active to begin with, but there has been a big focus on getting outside and we’ve already achieved a number of big walks together less than halfway into the challenge. This includes walks across the Test Way, a 36k walk across the Itchen, the South Downs Way, Allan King Way, Wayfarer’s Walk, Three Castles Path and The Itchen Way. A couple of us have even walked from Bournemouth to Southampton, a 51km 10-hour trek, in order to beat our personal bests! 

The team are also participating in table tennis, volleyball, boxing, swimming, weight lifting and cycling you name it, we’re doing it!

How has this changed your daily routine?

When we are not training together everybody is approaching this challenge in their own unique way. For me, the biggest challenge has been time management. Monday to Friday I am at my desk for most of the day, so I have had to find time to ensure a good amount of activity each day. This has meant waking up early for morning walks, staying later at the gym each evening and planning my weekends with a focus on activity.

Because of this challenge, walking, running and cycling have become the focus of my training routine alongside whatever else will build up my daily step count. If I go to the shops, I walk. If I go to work, I walk. If my wife wants a cup of tea, I’m making it. I have really embraced the challenge, and whatever gets me off the sofa and exercising can’t be a bad thing! 


Follow Southampton Children’s Hospital Charity on Twitter to see their progress and follow us to hear about our fundraising.

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