Multi- business Study of the Effect of Low Impact Physical Activity on Employee Health and Wellbeing- 2011

The report findings come from a combined Lancaster University Centre of Organizational Health & Wellbeing and Foundation for Chronic Disease Prevention in the Workplace (FCDP) study into the physical and psychological impact of leading corporate health program - Global Corporate Challenge© (GCC) on 752 UK and US-based employees (of varying age, gender, health and base fitness level).

Sourced from six leading organizations based in the UK (Hays Recruitment Services, Kraft Foods UK, Tesco plc, Tyco Fire Products and Wood Group) and one US based organization (name withheld), study subjects were provided pedometers and challenged to walk 10,000 steps per day* over GCC's 16 week virtual walk around the world. Self-reported questionnaires and on-site biometric screening recorded their physical activity levels, (physical and psychological health) and performance indicators before and after GCC participation, with ultimate analysis delivering a compelling case for getting workers walking.


To assess the impact of participation in the Global Corporate Challenge© on low intensity physical activity levels, employees risk factors to non communicable diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease), workplace productivity and psychological measures of employee mental health.


  • The results show that participating in the GCC resulted in a significant increase in employee physical activity levels as well as the frequency and planning of regular exercise.
  • The results reveal a significant improvement in all aspects of employee psychological wellbeing (such as confidence, self-esteem, sleep and concentration levels) and a significant reduction in all types of stress.
  • Significantly higher levels of productivity were reported by employees after the GCC.
  • The results demonstrate a significant increase in satisfaction with employee's quality of life by the end of the GCC.
  • Biometrics results show a large proportion of employees lost weight, reduced their %age body fat, reduced their waist circumference and also reduced their BMI.
  • Biometrics also show a positive reduction in blood pressure in a large proportion of employees.
  • The study suggests organizations can benefit from encouraging and supporting employees to walk more than 7,500 steps per day.
Lancaster University

Steps to Health: Multi business Study of the Effect of Low Impact Physical Activity on Employee Health and Wellbeing 2011

Impact of the Global Corporate Challenge© on Employee's Mental Health - 2010

Lancaster University is a world-class research and teaching university shortlisted for 2010 University of the Year. In 2010, the university's Research Centre for Organisational Health and Well Being conducted an independent survey of the GCC. It is one of the largest studies ever taken into organisational wellbeing with 1,000 British Gas (BG) GCC-participating employees agreeing to become participants in the study. Examining data from before and after the GCC, the aim of the research was to measure the impact of the GCC on mental health, stress levels, productivity and engagement.


To evaluate the effectiveness of Centrica participating in the 2010 Global Corporate Challenge (GCC).The extent to which Centrica employees benefited in relation to their personal health and performance, and their perceptions of well-being and workplace stress. To examine relationships between employees step count average and outcomes.


  • employees recorded significant improvements in their perceptions of the following:
    • Their level of concentration at work
    • Their feeling of playing a useful part in things at work
    • Their capability of making good decisions
    • Their capability of overcoming their difficulties
    • Their confidence level
    • Their self-esteem
    • Their general happiness
  • employees also recorded significant improvements in relation to their productivity and engagement

In addition:

  • 94% of employees said that they intended to continue this higher level of physical activity after the GCC finished
  • 82% of employees said that participating in the GCC has a positive impact on their overall health, not just their emotional wellbeing
  • 59% felt that the GCC had changed their long-term approach to exercise
Lancaster University

Steps to Health: An Evaluation of the Impact for Centrica Employees of Participating in the Global Corporate Challenge 2010

Lancaster University

Full Study:
Steps to Health: An Evaluation of the Impact for Centrica Employees of Participating in the Global Corporate Challenge 2010