Fitness boost through worldwide challenge
On 10 July, more than 650 public officers, comprising 94 teams of seven, committed to improving their health and performance by participating in the Virgin Pulse 100 Day Global Challenge.
Since then, they increased awareness of their nutrition, focus, sleep, balance, and activity.
The teams also improved their physical and mental health.
After completing the 100-day challenge, participants attended an End of Challenge Celebration which culminated in a prize-giving ceremony at Botanical Gardens on 6 November, 2019.
The wellness initiative, announced in the 2017 Throne Speech, tasked the Public Service with implementing an Employee Wellness Programme.
As a result, a Wellness Committee was formed in May 2018 under the sponsorship of Dr. Derrick Binns, Head of the Public Service.
Premier the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, who attended the event, congratulated public officers on committing to improving their health and wellness.
At the celebration, the Premier stated, “During the Global Challenge, through goal setting and a sense of healthy competition, each day public officers achieved an average of 14,028 steps. In teams of seven and supported by a global movement of some 300,000 participants, each employee embraced teamwork and motivated one another to clock over 338,472 miles, or 851,122,157 total steps, on a virtual journey around the world.”
The Premier added, “Employee health and wellness is important to this Government. We remain committed to ensuring there is a true culture of health and wellbeing for public officers. I am proud of your achievements, and will support you on the continued journey towards healthier, happier, and more active lives.”
After the group activities, Dr. Derrick Binns, presented awards to the Healthiest Team, Most Improved Team, Point Leader, and the Most Active Team.
Let’s Get Fiscal, were the overall winners and took the top spot as Government’s most active team, and ranked 16th on Global Challenge’s World Leaderboard. Their daily average was 32,185 steps which is equivalent to over 15 miles every day of the 100-day event.
Seven teams from Bermuda were in the top 100 teams globally.
Dr. Binns gave the closing remarks at the celebration, and congratulated the public officers for participating in the first Government-wide wellness challenge.
When asked about the benefits of the Challenge, Dr. Binns stated, “I am extremely pleased that so many employees made a commitment to being healthier. Throughout the challenge we heard lots of success stories, learned about teams working together and encouraging each other. Morale increased, fitness levels increased, productivity increased. For continued support, the website, which provides details of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, will remain available to employees for the next year.
“This is just the start of creating a healthy work environment for all public officers. The bigger picture for the Public Service is we will ultimately have healthier employees, our health costs will be reduced, together with less health related absenteeism.”
Dr. Binns concluded by saying, “I must extend a sincere thank you to the Wellness Committee for their outstanding leadership and for implementing the Global Challenge Wellness Initiative. In my years with the Public Service I cannot recall any single initiative that pulled together so many Public Officers, united to a common end. It was exciting to see.”
*Press release from the Government of Bermuda.
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