Walking has been part of the positive culture of BCS employees for the last two years. On 16 November, the BCS Little Bit Fit Project won the Gallagher Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace Award at the ACTCOSS Community Sector Awards. Previously, our intrepid walkers have completed the For Fitness Sake Challenge, created a community event around walking, and taken part in the annual Relay for Life Cancer Fundraiser.
The Little Bit fit project began in 2016 among a small group of BCS managers and coordinators. It was a friendly way of encouraging each other to walk, move and become aware of their own physical health through sharing the data from their Fit Bits. The aim of the project was to keep all participants focused on their step counts and movements as an ongoing activity. A side effect of this focus was the cessation of poor life habits. People started walking to meetings, walking to work and taking regular “250 step” breaks during longer meetings.
By January 2017, the managers could see the benefits in their own lives and so offered the Little Bit Fit project to all employees at BCS to help create a healthy, active workplace. As we all know, physical activity has positive health benefits. The project was open to all ages with a focus on healthy ageing and developing social connections. For many people, outlaying the initial cost for a Fitbit was difficult to work into the family budget. To ensure everyone had the opportunity to participate, BCS purchased Fitbits and employees were able to pay them off with small, fortnightly installments.
The Little Bit fit project continued for 10 months and during that time the participants’ improved habits became ingrained. The organisers took the opportunity to deliver health promotion information and participants talked about the benefits of tracking their movements and other ways to improve health such as reducing or ceasing smoking, abuse of alcohol and obesity.
The Little Bit Fit project continues to run as a self-paced program with key events to celebrate milestones throughout the year including:
• whole group challenges
• weekend challenges
• social gatherings including lake and bush walks and other activates nominated by the group to bring members together.
The BCS Walking Team is already planning their participation in the 2019 Relay for Life, the world’s largest fundraising campaign for cancer research. The relay is a 24 hour event where each team has at least one member on the track at all times. In Canberra, the Relay for Life takes place at the Australian Institute of Sport. Last year, the BCS team walked over 550 000 steps and raised $1400. Their goal for 2019 is $2000. Click here to donate and help us reach our goal.
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