I  found a great way for individuals and work teams to Kick off the new year. I came across it when I was running a presentation on Smarter Workload, Email and Time Management with Microsoft Outlook at a Surrey Chambers of Commerce exhibition the other day. It’s great because it is fun, active, inclusive, team-oriented and it raises funds for charity and costs practically nothing for a business to operate.

In business speak you drive teambuilding, engagement, wellbing and CSR in one fun and totally inclusive programme.

Here’s what’s involved:

This is a 6 week challenge, which will start on 28th January 2013, to walk, run or cycle 10,000 steps daily, earn achievement awards, compete with other teams and, if you wish to you can raise money for charity into the bargain.

It is managed online by www.activity4charity.co.uk and everybody gets a high accuracy USB accelerometer (which you keep) to wear or carry, through which you can upload your data to the website and monitor your activity progress and your competitiveness any time you want to.

The programme is set up to be totally inclusive for all levels of fitness, from the most unfit to the manic marathon runner, so everybody can get involved.

You can log your activities individually and as a team, so a lunchtime team walk would be an option to the rushed sandwich at the desk!

Companies can sign up any number of teams of 5 people. It may also be possible for individuals to join and be hooked up to other solo entrants to form a virtual team.

The cost for the whole 6 week challenge – including the USB accelerometers, access to the challenge website and all online support is only £195 plus VAT and p&p per team of 5 people. Individuals can register for £34.90 inc VAT plus p&p.

Teams can optionally elect to link their challenge to charitable fundraising just to squeeze more benefit from the engagement.

It is shocking but research shows that 2/3 of us don’t do enough daily activity to accrue any cadiovascular benefits and that 2/3 of us are over-weight or obese. We have a huge (no pun intended) issue in this country .

The good news is that research and guidelines by the Chief Medical Officer has shown that just by doing 30-60 minutes of activity a day we can reduce many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (one of the major killers in this country), diabetes, obesity related issues and certain cancers by 50%.

Not only this, but the more active you become the healthier you become in mind as well, you sleep better, you feel more energised, maybe you start connecting better with family and work colleagues.

Through the Activity4Charity programme you can link your wellbeing programme with your CSR activities and raise charity funds into the bargain.

Some stats Activity4Charity published from their last challenge:

• Before the challenge just 34% met the UK government activity guideline (30 minutes/day, 5 days/week). This increased to 83% at the end of the challenge.

• 92% reported the challenge had benefited their personal health and wellbeing

• 63% reported it had improved team relationships or office atmosphere

• 95% said they intended to maintain a higher level of activity after the challenge

If you or your company needs a boost, an inclusive and fun New Year challenge, if you want to get moving, engage in the CSR activities and work together well in teams, then join the Activity4Charity January 2013 challenge – it starts 28th January – and compete with many other companies and teams. Make that difference to 2013…Who’s up for it?

You can find out more from the A4C website www.activity4charity.co.uk or contact the wonderful Seema Bennett by email seema.bennett@mmvsense.com

Alternatively just ask me about it here or by email.

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