Non-Government Organisations

Walking School Bus, Global Cooperate Challenge & Heartmoves

Non-government organisations play key roles in adherence to the National Physical Activity Guidelines across the workplace, school and communities.

Walking To School Bus

A "Walking to school bus" is a bus that is powered by your legs. It is an initiative, supported by VIC health, that tackles the risk of children becoming overweight. Primary school children walk to school in a group under the supervision of 1 or more adults 'drivers'. The bus takes about 30mins to do 2km. It stops outside children's houses and then goes on its way. The bus encourages children to be more active in a fun and safe environment with their school friends. It helps the children gain confidence and independence. They learn road safety and get to school conveniently on time.
  • Walking to School Bus is a population based strategy that targets primary school children and their families. It is not tailor made except in the sense that it picks up and drops of children at their own homes. It supports environmental change in that it encourages people to move away from cars.
  • Walking to School Bus is a multifaceted approach and fulfils all levels of the social ecological model.

Individual factors: The strategy involves support groups that provide self-efficacy and confidence in relation to walking to school. Individual schools as well as councils are called to support families in joining the scheme. Participation helps build confidence as well as motor skills and change attitudes towards physical activity.

Environmental factors (social): The scheme considers communities of all sizes and helps families get connected and peer groups are formed. This happens between children and also between their parents. The newly formed social networks are used to encourage each other to become more active. The children can experience new friendships and can have fun getting to school while gaining a sense of independence and much needed exercise.

Environmental factors (physical): There is impact on the built environment through the introduction of traffic calming roundabouts and signage. Also the reduction of commuting to school by car reduces noise and emission pollution.

Policy and organisational factors: Targets changes and beliefs in that it helps people consider alternative ways for their children getting to school. It also provides a good opportunity for councils and local primary schools to engage with each other and seek funding to make finical contributions to the program.

  • Success of the program has been assessed by VIC health and the conclusions from the evaluation indicate that the "Walking to School Bus" program has been successful on a number of levels. The success was mainly in providing children and adults with more physical activity as well as more social interaction. The concept seems to be well understood and its health, safety and environmental objectives are well supported by councils and schools. The program has also been positively portrayed in the media. It has evolved at a rapid rate in Victoria and continues to experience significant community support.


Heartmoves is a gentle physical activity program which is appropriate for people who haven't done any sort of physical activity in a while. Heartmoves is supported by the Heart Foundation and run by professionals.Participants can exercise at a low-moderate intensity in structured environments. Heartmoves is available to everyone and is helpful in preventing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

The classes have a maximum number of participants to ensure safety for the participants.

  • Heartmoves is an individual initiative that targets members of the community especially ones with long term health conditions. Tailoring is available depending on individuals who are also provided with facilities and information packages.
  • Heartmoves is multifaceted and addresses all level of the social ecological model.

Individual factors: Heartmoves encourages individuals to get involved in exercise and increase their motor skills and health. Information programs increase knowledge and remove the fear that holds people with health conditions away from exercising. The class groups often become support groups for the individuals involved.

Environmental factors (social): The scheme provides social opportunities for people who share common conditions and often become close friends. This creates an environment that encourages peer groups supporting physical activity.

Physical factors (environment): Heartmoves provides set fitness centres where participants can enrol thereby providing access to facilities such as gym equipment and showers.

Policy and organisational factors: The old fashioned belief that people with health issues cannot or should not exercise is completely shaken by this initiative. Fundamental changes in the ability and necessity to get moving is undertaken while people discover the benefits through this initiative.

  • The initiative has experienced great success and is monitored and reported by the Heart Foundation. Individuals often report major life changes such as being able to re-engage with social activities and feeling that they can cope with everyday tasks. Many give accounts of becoming physically fit, improving their emotional state and making many new friends.

Global Corporate Challenge

The "GCC" was developed to improve the health and performance of employees around the globe. It is a 12 month program which engages in educating and encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health. This is done through exercise and appropriate nutrition. People who sign up are provided with accelerometers, access to professional advice and information on nutrition. The intended outcome is making employees self-aware and motivated towards exercise and a healthier lifestyle.
  • The target group for GCC is adults in the workplace. It is available to people around the world and of any age and gender.
  • GCC is an individual based strategy in which participants form teams of 7 as they enter their daily physical activity.
  • The program considers tailoring designed specifically for the individuals involved and is aimed at removing impediments to activity and supporting a lifestyle change with education programs.
  • GCC is multifaceted and addresses all levels in the social ecological model.

Individual factors: The model provides goals (such as reaching weight targets and number of steps per day) to provide incentives and enhance behaviour skills towards exercise. Reward systems in the form of downloadable certificates and trophies are also used to encourage motivation. As the individuals participate more and more they build their fundamental motor skills and confidence. There is extensive use of support and educational material that helps individuals improve their diet towards a healthier lifestyle. The small groups involved provide incentive for the individual to keep going.

Environment factors (social): Although the individual is responsible for their own changes and progress this is done within the corporate environment and considers peer groups. It taps into the competitiveness of individuals by comparing their to others around the world. In turn this encourages relationships between work colleagues and connects organisations and their people.

Physical factors (environment): The program considers the natural environment in the sense that it encourages people not to drive as much and instead walk which reduces pollution and emissions. It also provides individuals with advanced technology to support their daily exercise.

Policy and organisational factors: GCC targets changes in the social norms and beliefs in the sense that it is aimed to result in sustainable change and the attitude of individuals in relation to health and exercise.

  • Surveys have shown a great success from this program. 90% of the employees were found to increase their overall health. 33% was found to increase their productivity. 54% claimed higher job satisfaction. 57% reported better teamwork and 71% reported an increase in their energy levels.
2013 Global Corporate Challenge®