Flab-busting contractor puts staff through the paces

Thirty-seven staff at a UK building contractor have shed an average of more than a stone each (6.4kg; 14lbs) over just 12 weeks after the company hired a marathon expert to implement a low-carb diet and fitness programme.

For 12 weeks participants at the firm, Stepnell, headquartered in Rugby, ditch high-carbohydrate foods such as sugar, bread, pasta and potatoes, and commit to racking up 10,000 steps running or walking a day, to improve productivity, confidence and well-being.

Stepnell hired performance coach Rory Coleman, who has completed more than 1,000 marathons and has coached the likes of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, reports Construction Manager.

Coleman, who combines the fitness regime with business coaching, says productivity gains of 15% can be achieved through the programme.

By making staff accountable to each other, the voluntary scheme, which is being introduced at Stepnell’s headquarters and regional offices, fosters new relationships and business problem-solving, Coleman told GCR.

Stepnell itself said the "Average2Awesome" programme has changed employees’ attitude towards exercise, with many embarking on group pre-work runs and lunchtime walks to chat and pile up the steps.

This month, a number of company teams took on the National Three Peaks Challenge, climbing Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike in 24 hours (Stepnell/Facebook)

This month, a number of company teams took on the National Three Peaks Challenge, a gruelling race to scale the UK’s three highest mountains – Ben Nevis, Snowdon (yr Wyddfa) and Scafell Pike – in 24 hours.

"This is the first time we’ve used a programme of this kind and it’s proving transformational with some astonishing results," said Stepnell managing director Tom Wakeford, also a marathon runner.

"We’ve invested in Average2Awesome as part of our commitment to helping individuals achieve their potential as well as benefit from the confidence boost which comes from making such a major change in your life.

"It’s been shown that healthier people are more productive, but this kind of challenge can also be hugely empowering, making a major difference to people’s sense of physical and mental wellbeing and sense of what they can achieve.

"That’s obviously beneficial from a business perspective, alongside the other positive results we’re experiencing from improved communication and team spirit."

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