Iridia Embarks on the Global Corporate Challenge!

Global Corporate Challenge ToykoToday the Iridia team embarks on a journey, joining more than 40,000 teams on a 100-day challenge to traverse the globe. Why? To increase our physical activity levels, improve our diets and increase the quality of our sleep!

The Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) is an online program that engages people to help them become more active. The goal is for every participant to work up to 10,000 steps a day. To keep participants on track, the GCC provides teams with the GCC Pulse, an activity tracker that measures steps and movement and takes activity measurement to a whole new level. The Pulse uses accelerometer technology to track daily activity. Containing the latest 3D sensor it will accurately detect movement in a precise, consistent and reliable way.

gcc pulse - global corporate challengeeverything-counts-1

Everything counts – even things like yoga and tai chi can be measured, and swimmers and cyclists can convert their activity into steps using a pre-determined formula.

The backdrop is a journey around the world. This years’ challenge starts in Tokyo, and as each team enters their steps from the Pulse, the steps are shown on a digital map – each day, you literally walk/run/cycle your way around the world! In addition to digitally stepping your way to each new location, participants will be learning about the culture and people of each along the way.

Participants are placed in teams of seven. This year (our 3rd year with the GCC!) we have four teams participating – and even though the challenge just started, already we have friendly banter and a sense of competition taking place among our teams.

Why The Global Corporate Challenge?

Iridia encourages a culture of healthy living. Healthy snacks are provided at our office, group walks are held and nutritious lunches are provided monthly. Employees are encouraged to take part in activities that promote an active, healthy lifestyle and the GCC is a fun and engaging way to do so!

According to research by Goldbeck Recruiting Inc. in their blog for Workplace Wellness Programs, health and wellness programs benefit both employees and the organization.

Consider these facts about Canadian workers:

  • 60% spend their entire workday seated, and 56% are classified as “physically inactive”
  • 36% are overweight, and 23% are obese
  • 66% report high stress on their jobs
  • 21% are daily or regular smokers

Benefits to companies that invest in a healthy workplace:

  • Increased productivity
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Reduced short and long-term disability payments
  • Reduced employee benefit costs
  • Lower worker’s compensation claims

While productivity and satisfaction are important to business, we’d like our employees to have some fun and become healthier in the process – the GCC is just the vehicle to do that. You can learn more about the program at

Iridia’s employees are getting the world moving this May through September. Can we achieve 10,000 steps a day for each team member? We think we can! We’ll keep you posted as our teams move around the world and compete against 40,000 other teams around the world!


Swipe Here to Improve Your eHealth

ehealthDr. Kendall Ho is an emergency room physician at Vancouver General Hospital and he’s swapping his scalpel for his smartphone to lead BC’s eHealth Strategy Office.

The eHealth Strategy Office carries out research, community engagement and educational activities to explore how modern information and communication technologies such as smartphones, can improve health care. One area of focus is smartphone health apps.


To help you find the right app, Dr. Ho has launched the “Health-e-Apps” project in hopes that smartphone users will try new health apps. Dr. Ho has also created a series of video clips where various health and wellness apps will be reviewed by a medical doctor.

From the Health-e-Apps website:

“With more than 40,000 mobile health and wellness apps for your smart phone at your fingertips, knowing which one to download can be a challenge. Many apps out there lack clinical evidence. You already trust your doctor to give you evidence-based health advice, so why not trust a doctor to tell you what health app is right for you?”

ehealth apps

During their exploration of digital technologies, the eHealth Office has embraced social media sites like Twitter and YouTube to crowdsource feedback and get suggestions from its users on their favourite apps.

“We are looking at introducing these apps on a regular basis so that we have a video, a short video, one-and-a-half to two minutes or so, just to quickly introduce that app and how it can be used,” said Ho. “We really want the readers and people who go there to actually look at the app, try it and let me know, let us know, how that app is helping you. This way we can learn together on how to best use these apps.”

With this project well underway, Dr. Ho has already selected a few apps for us to try; one is the Sleep Time App, by Azumio. This app eliminates the blaring alarm clock that shocks you out of a deep sleep. Instead, the app monitors your sleep and nudges you out of your dream world before it’s time to wake up. You leave your phone by your pillow and the app detects your body movements, from light sleep to when you are dreaming and only your eyeballs are moving.

Sleep Time

We do love our smartphone apps here at Iridia, whether it’s to control our computers, check our email, or meet on the fly, they are tools we can’t live without. It will be interesting to see what Dr. Ho brings us on the health app front and how we can incorporate them into our daily lives.

Do you have any health apps that you can’t live without? Let Dr. Ho and his team know on Twitter: