A team of seven employees from Deloitte in Guernsey proved themselves to be true health and wellbeing champions when they beat 127 other accountancy teams from around the world in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).

The Deloitte team placed 10th out of 2,550 professional services firms and 351st out of all 50,000 teams worldwide.

The 100-day challenge is a web-based concept which provides employers with a simple, engaging way to improve the wellbeing of their staff through diet, quality of sleep and team exercise. The initiative aims to embed long term lifestyle changes and beyond the 100 days, GCC provides a 12-month platform to ensure that awareness, education and motivation can continue throughout the year.

Adam Hart, Matthew Hart, India Ferry-Hodgson, Ben Vaudin, Matthew Fisher, William Game and Rachael Tracy were announced as the global winnners last week. Their team, Charge of Deloitte Brigade, clocked up an incredible 6,884 miles, averaging 24,731 steps per day.

With an emphais on physical and psychological health it wasn’t the case that they were all super fit from the start. Adam Hart from Deloitte explains: ‘One of the main reasons for doing the challenge was to become more active and healthy. Being really fit from the start is not at all necessary, it’s about improving your own lifestyle and everyone can aspire to do that.

‘Across the team we increased our activity level between 25% and 55% over the 100-day period with five of us placed in Deloitte’s top 20 most improved. From long walks and runs before work, cycling after work and sea swims to rowing and kayaking, we found lots of ways to clock up extra steps and keep active.’

The team smashed their original aim to be the best of the 30 participating Deloitte UK teams. Showing early promise, they soon raised their sights to “best accountancy team” in the global challenge.

Each GCC participant is issued with a simple pedometer and given access to their own activity and diet tracking account on the GCC website. Participants then set their own targets for how many steps/equivalent exercise they will do each day for the next 30 days according to their current levels of fitness. Their progress is then plotted on a virtual journey across continents. Team members can see individual and team progress and that of other teams. At stages throughout the 100-day challenge participants are encouraged to increase their step targets, gain special e-awards for completing weekend challenges and make other health and lifestyle improvements.

The objective of the challenge is to create a true culture of health right across participating businesses. Participating in GCC certainly helped the team members to complete some gruelling sporting challenges: Mr Hart and Ms Hodgson-Ferry completed the 38-mile Saffery Champness Rotary Walk; Mr Vaudin has just returned from Deloitte’s charity Ride Across Britain nine-day, 940-mile cycle challenge and Ms Tracy trained for her first ever Royal Parks Half Marathon.

Within organisations the benefits delivered by GCC are felt far beyond individual employees’ physical fitness. From the employer’s perspective, statistical data indicates a third of participants feel it improves their productivity, there are 41% fewer days absent in participants compared to non-participants and 92% of organisations believe it helps to create a culture of health. Participants also get added benefits: over half feel it improves teamwork and that they are more engaged with their employers, 63% feel their stress levels reduce either at work or at home and 75% of participants believe it lifts staff morale.

There are already a number of businesses locally who enter the challenge each year and John Clacy, Office Partner In Charge, would like to see that number increase: ‘Beyond the 100 days, the GCC also provides a 12-month platform to ensure that learning and positive habit formation continue throughout the year. With the ever growing physical and mental demands of doing business in the finance sector, and many other industries in our digital age, initiatives such as GCC can really kick-start permanent lifestyle changes that will benefit employees throughout their careers.

‘This year’s participants have said that this was a truly rewarding and engaging challenge which is great to hear. We see it as a fantastic investment to make in our staff and would love to see more local businesses compete next year.’

More details of the GCC can be found at https://www.gettheworldmoving.com/.