Every year I participate. And every year I regret it.
At the heart of it, the Global Corporate Challenge is a great thing. Inspiring people to become a better version of themselves is always a plus. The main goal of the challenge is to reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day. Participants are asked to log their daily steps into the site and can track their progress. There’s an automatic support network because of the scope of the challenge.
As the name implies, it’s global. And it’s corporate. Hundreds of companies around the world sign up for the program and encourages employees to join. Teams of seven are formed, then pitted against each other in a friendly competition. While the goal is to hit the average 10,ooo steps, scoreboard leaders often log up to 50,000 steps daily.
There are message boards filled with inspiring tales of changed lives and motivational quotes. Sound nutritional tips are provided on a weekly basis.
So why the Scrooge attitude?
About 3 years ago, I decided to make a major lifestyle change and started going to the gym on a regular basis. I signed up for group training sessions in order to force myself to go. It was hard at first, but over time, it’s now become part of the routine. In fact, when I don’t go, something feels a bit off.
In a nutshell, the training sessions are a healthy mix of cardio and weight training – the combination of exercise that most fitness gurus subscribe to. A major perk of these sessions is not having to think about what to do. Every day the workout is different, so there’s no concern about over working certain muscle groups.
Every workout can be a challenge. It all depends on how hard you push yourself. But when there’s a little step tracker attached to you, sometimes it’s easy to forget the big picture. An intense one hour workout may earn the same step count as a relaxing 20 minute walk around the block.
How is that possible? Some exercises don’t require full body movement. In fact, it’s often discouraged because you want to isolate certain muscle groups. Short of changing the position the step tracker for every exercise, this leads to an inaccurate count of physical activity.
Sure, activity trackers aren’t 100% accurate, but it can be discouraging when team members are counting on you for steps. Read: STEPS. Hence, the problem. Overall though, I don’t discredit the program. The Global Corporate Challenge is a great motivational tool for people who have desk jobs and are glued to their chairs all day.
Just remember to achieve long term success, it’s important to have fun. Find something fun to do as exercise and stick with the program. And to paraphrase a certain blue fish, just keep on moving.