Change is brought about not with words but through actions. In the race to become successful, many of us lag behind in terms of fitness and health. Stressful work and unusual working hours make it challenging for people to spare the time required to take care of their health.
IT employees at Tech Mahindra, Hyderabad have broken this monotony by taking up the #oneminuteplankchallenge.
This is a voluntary activity at the company, which was started in November, but has become more of a routine now. Employees do a one-minute plank exercise at 11.30 AM daily and then get back to do their respective work.
Plank is an exercise pose, where a person holds himself in a push-up like position and balances the body weight on the forearms, elbows and toes. Generally, people try to maintain this posture for as long as possible. Since the posture puts a lot of stress on the abdominal muscles, it is rather difficult to hold the posture for long.
“It is a 100 per cent voluntary activity. Associates have realised the benefit of this exercise and have so far participated voluntarily. We intend to keep it that way to ensure that people are genuinely inspired to take this up.”
Srikanth Srinivasan, practice head, retail and consumer good solutions, Tech Mahindra started this as a fun activity with one of his colleagues in a corridor of the office. Onlookers, who were amused by the activity, joined in enthusiastically. With each passing day, more and more people in the office voluntarily joined in for fun. Surprised by the enthusiasm of the staff, Srinivasan posted a short video of the activity on LinkedIn and Twitter on 20 November, 2018. The video became a sensation with more than 800,00 views and 10,000 likes.
Every day Srinivasan posts a video of the employees doing planks, following the motto ‘We meet, we plank, we go’.
Following in the footsteps of these Tech Mahindra employees, many IT employees in other companies, such as Bajaj Alliance, Mahindra Comviva, Tata Tele Services and even an insurance firm in Wisconsin, CUNA Mutual Group, have started following the practice religiously. They not only perform planks at the workplace, but also post videos on social-media platforms.
Shortly #plankstories will also be introduced in the series of #oneminuteplankchallenge, where employees who have been stirred by this collaborative initiative will start posting videos about how they got inspired and brought a change in their lifestyle. “We have been planking consistently for past nine weeks. Some of our regular members have started benefitting from the activity. They have also coupled it with other fitness activities, such as running, gymming and playing a sport. Through #plankstories, we encourage everyone to upload short videos on how these #plankchamps are progressing on the path of their personal health transformation.” says Srinivasan.
Srinivasan himself has been posting videos only on LinkedIn and Twitter, but some of his team members are sharing their plank videos on Facebook and Instagram as well. It is quite inspiring to see Tech Mahindra employees taking up this activity very seriously and enjoying. While it is not a compulsion, the one-minute plank challenge is truly bringing a change in the attitudes of the people, who are now taking their health and wellness seriously.
Srinivasan adds, “It is a 100 per cent voluntary activity. Associates have realised the benefit of this exercise and have so far participated voluntarily. We intend to keep it that way to ensure that people are genuinely inspired to take this up. The idea behind planking is to generate awareness amongst associates about fitness and wellness.” Although most companies are now taking the health and wellness of their employees very seriously, the #oneminuteplankchallenge has clearly proved that primarily it is ‘we’ who need to take the first step and do something to stay healthy.