Tuesday, October 26, 2010

10,000 steps

Rumor has it that it takes 10,000 steps (or the effort behind it) to keep Americans healthy. I think it's roughly five miles. And it's the number I'm looking forward to outdoing every day for the month of November.

Why, oh, why?

Because it's a challenge. No, literally: it's a challenge. My department at work is taking on another department to see who's fittest. We're making teams, reporting every day and seeing who steps the most for all of November.

I don't think I need to tell you how glad I am the crutches are gone!

One of the best parts of my office is that we're 20+ hyper-competitive people all in one place. Honestly, I can't point to a single person and say, "s/he is a slacker." That's why we hyper kick butt on a daily basis. And there are no tubs, at all. What's more is we all get along. We have really great leadership, and no one's so insecure in his/her job that they need to overcompensate. I think it might be one of the first times in the history of offices that this has happened. In my life, at least.

So, why am I so concerned about having randomly pulled teams? Yes, the competitive weenie is rearing her wildly untamed head. But I don't want to end up on a team with people who will neutralize my ability to win. I guess I'm just afraid of begrudging someone who doesn't step up for this challenge. Maybe I'll just have to become a good motivator. Maybe I'll have to realize it's just a silly workplace competition.

Funny thing is the prizes aren't extraordinarily fab. The winning team of the winning department gets lunch with some senior VPs I don't know (I'm not sure that's a reward). The team with most steps picks up a six-month membership to the local fitness center. At least all people over 10,000 steps per day get one-month free memberships.

Bottom line: i just want our department to win. It's good PR! And we need it.

While we are currently a department of butt-kickers, we're still plagued by a legacy of bad news and service from slackers past. What better way to win people over than to pile-drive them and drop elbows in a fitness contest?

I was relieved to hear that the 10,000 Steps Challenge wasn't just about steps and walking. It's an overall fitness contest. So, all my walking, cycling, swimming, circuit and strength training, running, yoga and dance count toward my totals.

Conversions for non-step activities are done by minute equivalencies. Circuit training, for instance, equals 178 steps per minute. I do a minimum two hours of circuit/strength training each week, so I picked up 21,360 steps. If I run about four hours over the course of the week, it's approximately 48,000 steps or 200 steps per minute. And at least an hour's worth of yoga each week = 600 steps, or 100 steps per minute.

Bare minimum extra activities minus general daily steps puts me around 17,000 steps. I'm hoping my general walking will push me to my goal of 20,000. And worry not: I fully intend to do all of this without breaking myself. Just a few hearts.


JenC said...

Know that you will be frustrated by your competition using the conversions unfairly. It got so bad in my office that they only give conversions for swimming because there were so many accusations of cheating. And, the prizes were worthless. Anyway, still a good goal to have and I wish you all luck!!

Mnowac said...

love it! Great idea, I am going to mention it to my HR, do you have a document with rules you can send me?

GP said...

Thanks @JenC! I've been trying to prepare myself for the cheaters. Yeah, the prizes aren't fab, which you'd think would lessen the cheating — because it's more about the spirit of competition. And how can you be competitive, truly, if you're just cheating? Wishful thinking.

@Monica: I can't find anything online, so I'll make copies of the printed stuff they gave me and give them to you. I can either drop them in the mail or swing by your house on my way to bootcamp Wednesday or Monday.