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Insights•5 minutes read
Push for Better
Our team took on the challenge of doing 3,318 push-ups in 25 days to raise funds for Headspace and bring awareness to mental health.
A push for better mental health
While push-ups may not be part of the job description, the Interactive team went in all guns blazing to support the Push-Up Challenge this June. Over 25 days, our people traded up their keyboards to smash out 3,318 push-ups to help raise funds for Headspace.
Headspace is a national youth mental health foundation that provides mental health services to young people age 12 to 25. You can use their service through online chat, by phone and through headspace centres across Australia. They are an awesome organisation and we wanted to help raise awareness and funds to support the work they do across the country.
The challenge our team took on was not easy. 3,318 push-ups over 25 days averages out around 130 push-ups every day, no mean feat. There was also a twist as the number of push-ups each day changed to reflect a vital mental health statistic. It kept the team on their toes… and hands, obviously.
Details of the challengeThe challenge our team took on was not easy. 3,318 push-ups over 25 days averages out around 130 push-ups every day, no mean feat. There was also a twist as the number of push-ups each day changed to reflect a vital mental health statistic. It kept the team on their toes… and hands, obviously.
A strong start by teams in all offices
We kicked the challenge off in our Sydney and Brisbane offices with a PT session to help the team perfect their push-up technique and both teams started strong. By day four of the challenge, one of our Sydney teams had even started averaging around 243 push-ups a day each. Go team!
In Brisbane, our Head of Technology, Ben O’Shea, found that the sheer volume of push-ups was pretty demanding, “I had to break my usual routine of just exercising in the morning, I needed to do the push-ups at least 4-5 times throughout the day to reach my target.”
The experience for our Melbourne office was a little bit different as the start of the challenge coincided with the recent lockdown which meant they couldn’t come together. As a little motivator, we decided to send a ‘Push-Up Power Package’ to everyone doing the challenge from home filled with healthy snacks to encourage everyone to keep at it. And they did.
It turns out many of them weren’t doing it alone. Everyone’s pet got involved too. We saw everything from people completing push-ups with their cat watching (to keep technique in check), push-ups with a puppy that’s desperate to distract, and some made the challenge even harder by completing their push-ups with the added support (and weight) of their on their dog on their back.
The photo evidence is hilarious, check them out below.
It came as no surprise that all the above-mentioned pets looked extremely happy to have their owners back working from home again. There was also a hotly debated topic on our Microsoft Teams channel on whether one rep with the added weight of a furry friend counted as two push-ups.
Making a positive change to their physical and mental wellbeing
Our receptionists Jacinta Jewell and Alana Woods egged eachother on to complete their daily push-ups behind the front desk. Jacinta went from “probably only done one push-up in her whole lifetime” to now proudly able to do five push-ups in a row and grinding out her target every day. Alana did raise the question as to whether Jacinta’s push-ups were up to standard in terms of technique, but we’ll avoid a Royal Commission-style investigation into the matter.
Our People & Culture Business Partner, Jodie Fletcher-Davies, believes the challenge has been nothing but positive and it’s provided participants with a different kind of support, “I can already see how the competition has brought our people closer. Not only are they coming together for a great cause, but judging from all the banter and laughs, people are also really enjoying themselves – that’s invaluable right now”.
A big congratulations to everyone for getting involved whether you did a push-up, donated some money or helped motivate a colleague, it was a phenomenal effort from the team. Also, a big thanks to all the pets for their invaluable contribution.
Beyond the challenge
The Push Up Challenge exists to help put the spotlight on the importance of mental health as one in five Australians will experience mental ill health this year but only 46% of people seek help. It’s a complex challenge – for ourselves, our loved ones and, most of all, for the nine Australians who die by suicide every day.
The foundations involved in The Challenge, including Headspace, aim to engage and educate people in mental and physical health, and raise awareness of the mental health issues affecting everyday Australians. The number of push-ups in the challenge reflect this, representing the 3,318 Australians who died by suicide in 2019 and our push to help.