Stepathlon urges corporate individuals to step up!

| Marketing | August 5, 2013 | News

A pedometer based, mass participation virtual event, Stepathlon is in its second year and is still abiding by its tagline to ‘Move the Nation. Lead the World'. Stepathlon Lifestyle is the curator of this unique event, which encourages individuals with a corporate background to take 10,000 steps a day for 100 days. With expected participation from employees of large corporate houses and MNCs, the Stepathlon is an online race that begins on Sept. 12 and ends on Dec. 20, with accessibility to everyone around the world.

Apart from promoting health across corporate employees, the Stepathlon also aims at bringing diverse companies together under one platform and encouraging leaders to invest in their human capital. Commenting on this, Ravi Krishnan, Co-Founder and CEO, Stepathlon Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, said: "The concept is ideal for the Indian market, given the increasing pace of urbanization in India and the fact that our lifestyle today is conducive to minimal movement, both incidental and foreseen which is correlated to overall fitness. Global health authorities recommend a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to be active. The vast majority of corporate employees take as little as 2,000 - 3,000 steps per day."

Adding further, he said: "Stepathlon's 100 - day duration promotes habitual change in a supportive, fun and engaging manner. It combats the significant negative effects and costs of absenteeism and presenteeism. Furthermore, Stepathlon encourages teamwork, unites an organization via common goals thereby engaging people within an organisation. Being cross-generational and breaking the bounds of geographies, Stepathlon increases employee appreciation towards the organisation."

The Stepathlon uses guidelines laid down by global health authorities, who state that taking 10,000 steps a day maintains an adequate level of fitness in a normal human being. The target audience for this event is what the organizers call the ‘Everyday Athlete' regardless of age, gender, designation, location, fitness level or physical ability. Seeing the positive effects of the event last year, in terms of weight loss, lowered blood pressure and reduced stress, the organizers decided to organize another full-fledged edition this year. An interactive online platform has been created as the basis for this event where entrants can get in touch with like-minded participants from around the world.

The event involves participants entering their daily step count onto the online platform or through a special mobile application, which lists the same count for every participating team. As an alternative to simply taking steps, contestants can also engage in walking, running, swimming or cycling; in such instances a special conversion formula converts the distance covered into steps. There are various categories for companies, industries and cities wherein the final coveted spot is that of the ‘Fittest Team' or the ‘Fittest Company'. To cover a broader range of audience, companies are permitted to send in as many employees as they want.

The online platform motivates the participants through varied contests, challenges and offline activities revolving around diet, nutrition and exercise suggestions. As an added feature and to generate healthy competition, a ‘Stepathlon Company Leader Board' has been put up online, where teams can track the progress of their competitors and devise their own strategies accordingly. An exclusive map has been put up on this virtual platform where teams are shown to be racing across different locations. To give the entire event less of a virtual feel, participants get updates about the news, weather and interesting facts about the location they're currently at.

Speaking about the future plans for this event, Krishnan said: "We are an international event, originating in India, and catering to employees of companies in any country. This aligns our philosophy that Stepathlon is for ‘Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime'. In 2012, we had Stepathletes predominantly from India and 19 other countries. We will continue to welcome employees from companies and locations, wherever they may be. We expect our global participation to increase as Indian companies expand their global offer."

The organizers are expecting Stepathlon 2013 to close at 60,000 participants, from metro and non-metro cities, which triples the count from last year, including at least 10,000 participants from Australian companies and over 50 other countries. Entries from companies like HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Firstsource, Godrej Properties and TATA Capital have already been recorded. The marketing campaign for the Stepathlon includes direct sales, digital marketing, PR and various media alliances.

HDFC Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, Godrej Properties and TATA Capital have been roped in for this initiative.

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