To encourage walking and thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Bupa has linked with the World Heart Federation (WHF) on a global partnership revolving around a walking challenge and a free app called ‘Ground Miles’.
Less of an event sponsorship and more of a joint CSR health campaign, GroundMiles launched on ‘World Heart Day 2013’ and challenged the world to walk five million miles.
The initiative’s free to download GroundMiles motivational personalised walking app aimed to help spur on the walkers by measuring distance walked
The app tracks walking time, distance and speed and enables users to set individual goals and it can be further personalised by uploading individual background photos of favourite walks.
Furthermore, the app includes a social element enabling users to create virtual walking groups that connect people from all over the globe.
Bupa, playing a semi-sponsor’s role in the initiative, promised to provide funding to the World Heart Federation to support its programmes that protect children from heart failure when the five million mile target is reached.
The campaign, which was promoted via PR work and social media activity primarily using the hashtag #lovewalking, was driven by the underlying fact that cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is the number one cause of death worldwide – accounting for 17 million deaths every year.
And yet a large number of these deaths are avoidable and a key route to reducing risk is through more physical activity – such as walking.
Bupa and WHF zeroed in on walking simply because it is the most accessible form of physical activity and the easiest to incorporate into daily routines.
The campaign included an incentivisation element which offered those who used the app to walk 7.5 miles (at a pace of 3mph or above) over a week entry into a draw to win holidays.
The campaign was internal as well as external and thus Bupa’s 62,000 employees and the World Heart Federation’s 200+ member organisations all ramped up their walking to play their part in helping to reach the challenge target.
‘Walking is a great way to stay fit and healthy! I’m so excited we’re partnering with the World Heart Federation to get the world walking to a healthy heart and help people around the world live longer, healthier, happier lives,’ says Bupa CEO Stuart Fletcher.
Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation, adds: ‘We’re proud to be launching the Ground Miles Challenge with Bupa. With our member organisations around the world, we are committed to addressing one of the leading preventable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, physical inactivity, by encouraging people to walk. At the World Heart Federation, we believe that your feet can carry your heart far in life.’
The GroundMiles initiative follows on neatly from last year’s Bupa ‘Global Challenge’ and ‘Steptember’ 16-country internal walking campaign
This latest project actually emerged from ideas originally generated at OpenIDEO – an innovation platform originally founded by IDEO (a leading design and innovation consultancy) focused on linking social good causes challenges with commercial brands.
Bupa’s initial OpenIDEO sponsored challenge was ‘How might we create healthy communities within and beyond the workplace?’
This initially spawned a slew of suggestions and contributions ranging from a collective summit up Mt Everest and getting companies to compete to reach collective goals.
These ideas were used as the source for the IDEO’s development of Bupa’s Ground Miles partnership with WHF.
This health partnership is another interesting example that blends the current trends for using new personalised tech devices to drive behavioural change, using measurement to transform lifestyles and use socialisation to share and support change.
The trend spans branded devices (like Nike FuelBand) and community focused sports-specific social networks like Strava, to more collective CSR-led platforms such as Saucony’s mobile app led Run4Good project that saw the sportswear brand donate to child obesity charities for every mile logged.
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Steps To A HealthyHeart – Guide
World Heart Federation Website