Exercise can contribute towards a healthy lifestyle, improve mental health and provide a great way to switch off from work to maintain a good work-life balance. These factors are especially important when working from home which can limit that physical escape from work.

With this in mind Jack McLean, Identity Sales Executive, came up with the idea of pairing exercise with a healthy dose of competition on a company-wide basis, kicking off Get Moving in March.

Get Moving in March was an initiative to encourage Identity staff members to get active and exercise throughout the month of March. The initiative was managed and conducted on the app  Strava, which enabled staff to form 5 clubs; Client Services, Production, Creative, Project Management and Company Operations. The initiative encouraged any form of exercise and activity, from walking, running and cycling, through to personal training sessions which were logged manually.

The initiative was a friendly competition between the 5 clubs, of which the average time spent exercising was calculated each week. This enabled more inclusivity as not every individual within the team enjoyed the same activities. Jack has answered a few questions to share his experience and inspire others to get involved.

Where did the motivation come from?

The motivation for the challenge stemmed from a personal standpoint. I spoke to my line manager, Sam Southon, about my current work-life balance and expressed that I had significantly reduced the amount I was exercising throughout the pandemic. It then became evident that this was more than likely something that others were also experiencing. Therefore, I suggested setting up a club on Strava where we could record our activities, have a target to reach and see how it went. This quickly generated interest company-wide and turned into an inter-departmental competition!

We can all be guilty of prioritising work over our own physical and mental wellbeing. It is very easy to start your day in front of your computer and before you know it, it is the end of the day. Daily exercise is essential to break up your day. It allows you to switch your ‘work brain’ off, so when you return to work you have fresh motivation and fresh perspectives.

What feedback have you received internally?

Firstly, the participation levels were incredible, and higher than I ever anticipated, so that in itself is a fantastic result. However, I have received some incredible feedback from staff, outlining how positive the challenge was, and how it had such a positive impact on their lives. Additionally, in a time where the social element of work has depleted so drastically, it gave people a reason to reach out to one another. During the competition, meetings were often started with a 5-minute Strava update. It was very positive for me to see and be a part of, and I am thrilled to be the one that came up with the idea.

What advice would you give to people who are considering company-wide exercise challenges?

Do it! Not only, are there social and mental advantages to these challenges, but the increase in productivity and efficiency is a win-win. Be sure to include a wide range of activities and be ready to put the time in to motivate and encourage people to join. Remember to share updates company-wide and most importantly, enjoy it!