After 31 days of walking, jogging and running in the Team Mintra May Steps Challenge, staff made it more than half-way around the world, clocking up a truly staggering 31,386,701 steps over a distance of 23,160km.
The challenge was part of an initiative to encourage staff, who have now been working from home for over 14 months, to get up, get outside and get moving to bolster both their physical and mental wellbeing.
Working in teams, staff were encouraged to take as many steps as possible throughout May and collectively make their way onto the winner’s podium. A total of 78 employees representing 16 teams took part.
The top performing team - with a total of 3,450,533 steps between them – was Legs Misérables, comprising media developer Lewis Haughs, group business integration director Stuart Andrew, UK IT support manager Iain Geddes, quality manager Simon Burrows and senior motion graphics designer George Denoon.
Group HR director Angela Stewart said: “Although there could only be one winner, it has been a truly phenomenal effort from everyone involved. To put it into perspective, they travelled over half the distance of the equator, and measuring the distance as the crow flies, our team stepped from our office in Bergen to our office in Singapore and back again…and then turned around to almost make it as far as our office in Limassol.
“There were lots of collective and individual challenges – for example, our colleagues in Cyprus entered into a strict government-imposed Covid-19 lockdown limiting the time they could spend outside just as the challenge started – but everyone showed huge commitment from start to finish.
“This challenge had a health and wellbeing focus, but there have been so many other positive benefits. It demonstrated teamwork and willingness to support colleagues: no one wanted to let their team down and even those who were not participating made sure to show a lot of encouragement.
“Participants were able to track their progress in an app, and they could also use this to share photographs of the routes where they were out walking and running. It was an excellent way for our global team to get to know each other better and to learn more about the locations where colleagues are based.”
Other honours were handed out in addition to the overall prize for the team with the most steps, including most consistent, most enthusiastic, best team name and best route.
Several participants have remarked that the challenge has helped them feel fitter and it gave them a reason to get up and spend some time away from their desks.
Oslo-based project manager and instructional designer Trine Gjesti Bentzen said: “I have never been a walker, except for transportation. And I would go for a hike only if someone asked me to. To my surprise, I have enjoyed taking hikes and walks, all by myself. I have explored new routes and landscapes, and also made friends and family join me.
“I struggled with low energy levels after gym lockdown and the snow vanishing, but now I am back. I also take longer, faster and more regular runs.”
Chief finance officer Ian Mackie added: “I walked places in my hometown of Aberdeen I never knew existed. Walking in silence listening to the sound of traffic and birds, listening to music or podcasts, whilst practising mindfulness to clear a busy mind is great for mind health.
“Walking with a workmate and finding out lots of interesting things about them on a 13-mile walk, making lots of new dog friends – a great experience but it is time for a rest!”
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