The objective of the “Mobility for Vitality” Lifestyle Challenge was to encourage staff to walk and cycle more in their efforts to get fitter and healthier, - preferable by shifting car trips towards non motorised modes of transport. This was a programme to help staff become more physically active. Those who registered for the Challenge committed to undertake a certain min. weekly frequency and intensity of physical activity from Oct.-Dec. 2006. Fitness testing was carried out at the beginning and end, and participants logged their activities in a special log book. Certificates have yet to be awarded.
Background & Objectives
The objective of the “Mobility for Vitality” Lifestyle Challenge was to encourage staff to walk and cycle more in their efforts to get fitter and healthier. Preferable by shifting car trips towards non motorised modes of transport. Promoting fitness can encourage people to walk or cycle instead of using the car. There was no precedent which really matched this initiative. In previous years some staff members of council staff would organise hill-walking on a Sunday and a council team in local orienteering events. However these events had ceased around the time that Competence began. Some staff members took part in a charity run the year before, but in general staff sports and leisure activities were organised on an ad-hoc basis.
Having researched other campaigns to promote walking and cycling at work, it was decided to avail of the Irish Heart Foundation’s (IHF’s) Lifestyle Challenge materials and support. Promotional circulars were issued to staff, inviting them to an information and registration event on September 7th 2006.
Inquiries were made with local gyms and swimming pools about a discount or other corporate membership incentive. An introductory offer of 3months trial membership was secured with a gym opposite City Hall and promoted to staff.>Fitness testing was then held on the city’s athletic track from 9a.m. to 11a.m. on Tuesday October 17th. Weekly lunchtime walks at work were organised on Thursdays. All participants were issued with an activities log for recording and describing their exercise sessions each week. At the end everyone returning log cards is entered in a draw.
Simply getting staff to take a half hour out of their working day and attend an information event about the Lifestyle Challenge was difficult. To overcome this, the event was held in City Hall where most council employees work at 4:30p.m. in the hope that some staff would be able to finish work a little early or call by at 5pm to register. All those who inquired via phone or email also received a registration pack. It was also difficult to popularise group walks as staff with families need to leave work early and many people have insufficient time at lunch. To overcome this somewhat, a few lunchtime walks were organised to a café in the park.
25 members of staff take up the challenge to improve their fitness.
81% of those who return activity logs go for gold by committing to the maximum weekly physical activity commitments. 13% opt for silver and 6% opt for bronze.
All but one of those undergoing “before and after” fitness testing, improve their fitness.
This fitness testing before and after was considered critical for attracting and maintaining participation because it allowed people to measure the impacts of getting fitter.
A new project based on the concept of the project "Mobility for Vitality" started on the 14th of September 2011 with the name "Petameter Challenge".