During the Inter Airport Exhibition in Munich in October, AXA Power of Denmark has invited distributors and customers to participate in the AXA Walkathon.
“If we add all the steps that we walk during an exhibition, we are sure that we can reach the AXA Power Dubai Branch office some 3,100 miles away – of course in a figurative sense,” says marketing manager Vibeke Bo Hansen. “All participants get a pedometer and we will register the number of steps taken day by day. To reach the goal, we need to take 700,000 steps altogether.”
You may well think that this has nothing to do with neither the 400Hz ground power units nor the pre-conditioned air units that AXA Power is known for in the market place. But since daily exercises are ‘part of the job’ at AXA Power, why not share this good experience with those who are also an important part of the day for the AXA Power employees: distributors and customers.
Always on the move to stay in front
In their home country, AXA Power is better known as one of the front runners allowing all employees to go exercising for half an hour each day during work hours than for their power supplies and pre-conditioned air units.
At 10.45am each day, the factory door is closed, a sign with information in five languages informing visitors that the factory will be closed for the next 1.5 hours is put up, and staff members gather outside to either walk, run, bike, swim or even row.
“We care about the well-being of our team, and therefore we put in place this initiative on 1 March 2009,” explains Henrik Olsson, general manager of AXA Power. After two years, the exercise program still is a great success that brings together people in spite of job positions.
Close to 100% of the employees do participate on a regular basis, and the activity definitely is a superb way of integrating new employees and visitors. It is all about the vision of a good life and mental training, Olsson continues. “In the past, we have had an ever increasing turnover. Therefore, it is important to fortify the AXA team in the belief that we can continue down or should I say up the winning lane by focusing on our key business areas. And the daily exercises clearly help us stay focused.”
The exercise sessions also bring other benefits. In fact, we never had many days lost through sickness so we cannot see a big difference in the statistics in this respect, but we surely hear and feel that the team is very happy with the possibility of exercising during work hours.
Since almost 65% of the employees have small children, it has been quite difficult for the mums and dads to do exercise at all before we started our healthy habit. Now, everybody has a good conscience already when leaving in the afternoon. Furthermore, we all are fit for a fight in more than one sense.
“At least a handful have reduced their weight considerably,” Olsson says. Also, more employees experience less stress and a general improvement in their quality of life.
Beside the daily exercise program, the AXA Power staff also participate in various runs and campaigns over the year: for three weeks during spring time, those who want to jump on their bike to go to work. And for another three weeks, the focus is on walking / running as much as possible each day.
With the AXA Walkathon in Munich, we hope to inspire a few people wishing to change their lifestyle to get started. “At least, we have very positive feedback when we organise similar events during distributor seminars,” Henrik Olsson concludes.
Written by Vibeke Bo Hansen, marketing manager.
Facts and figures
- In 2020, WHO expects 70% of all diseases to result from people’s lifestyle
- Each time you exercise for one hour, you prolong your lifetime by 15 hours
- 30 minutes of moderate activity in addition to your normal daily exercises decreases the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and intestine cancer by 30%
- It is better to be overweight and to exercise than to be slim and not exercise at all