Staff at Kongsberg Maritime took part in a virtual challenge to walk from Aberdeen to Perth, Australia – 9,000 miles away – and ended up smashing their target to trek Down Under by 2,500 miles.
For the past four months, employees at the firm’s Westhill office have been taking part in a pedometer challenge promoted by the British Heart Foundation.
Employees was given a pedometer to record the number of steps they walked each day to count towards the distance between the two cities – 17,836,000 steps. The company opened a new office in the Australian city earlier this year.
Dave Shand, general manager offshore of Kongsberg Maritime, said: “Walking is an easily accessible activity for most people – it costs nothing and can be done anywhere so it’s the perfect way for our staff to introduce a little more exercise into their daily routine.
“The challenge was to walk to Perth, Australia, but we actually walked much farther – a total of 22,310,327 steps – which is the equivalent of walking to Adelaide.
“The aim of the challenge was to raise awareness of the importance of regular physical activity and it provided an opportunity for employees to actively measure daily levels of activity using pedometers.
“Healthy living is very important and is something we are very keen to promote to our staff. Exercise helps to increase productivity, reduce stress and can even result in fewer sick days, which is a great advantage for business too.”
He said the staff had been split into groups of four and these teams competed against each other, “which prompted some fun rivalry but also encouraged teamwork and boosted confidence and morale”.
Mr Shand added: “A happy working environment and healthier workforce is key to good business.”
Kongsberg Maritime also sponsors Banchory Boys Football Club and the 2.5k secondary race at Run Balmoral.
Mr Shand said: “It’s really important that young people have opportunities to get into sport. Not only does regular physical activity help build strong and healthy muscles, it can also help them develop important interpersonal skills, such as teamwork.
“It’s easy to live a sedentary lifestyle when you are sitting at a desk from 9am to 5pm, but we have recently started a Biggest Loser-style programme and offer support to staff who want some help getting fit and healthy.
“This will not only mean a healthy, more productive workforce, but it also encourages workplace friendships and camaraderie.”
The winning team with the most steps throughout the challenge were The Pace Makers, with a total of 3,843,975 steps. The winning individual with the most steps was Shane Fenton, who had a total of 1,416,433 steps.