Virtual walking challenge a hit

Article image - Virtual walking challenge  a hit Proudly holding aloft this year’s Virtual Walking Challenge trophy were representatives of the winning team, recreation centre staff Andrew Thomson and Matt Tyter.

Towards the end of last year, East Gippsland Shire Council, Victoria, ran its Annual Virtual Walking Challenge, encouraging staff to be more physically active and make healthy food and drink choices.

Organised by council’s Health and Wellbeing Committee, the challenge ran for four weeks.

Manager Organisation Development, Rebecca Aston, said the walking challenge was one of the Health and Wellbeing Committee’s most popular initiatives.

“This program is all done online which is great for us because our staff are spread across a large area. Anyone can participate – it doesn’t matter where in the shire they are based or what job role people have.

“East Gippsland Shire covers almost 10 percent of Victoria with our workforce spread across the region. 

“This makes some health and wellbeing programs difficult for us to implement as they are based on face-to-face sessions. It can be cost-prohibitive to hold multiple sessions at various sites.

“We were also able to modify the Virtual Walking Challenge route so participants were walking through our shire. Yes, our shire is so big the ‘challenge’ was to walk from one end to the other.”

Thirteen teams took part, with up to four members in team.

The winning team clocked up almost 1,325 kilometres, beating the second-placed team by less than 20 kilometres.

All participating team members logged their daily physical activity, fruit and veg intake and their water consumption. All these healthy behaviours moved them along the virtual walking track.

Participants walked a combined total of 9,092 km.