Australian Software Company Mixes Reality and Virtual Reality for Healthy Results

Dennis Faas's picture

An Australian-based software company has developed an innovative health program that aims at targeting employees with unhealthy habits.

After seeing the stereotypes of computer programmers and software developers on a daily basis, Altiris has decided to motivate their employees with special incentives in an effort to help make better choices in the daily lives of their employees. (Source:

The company hopes to encourage employees to avoid long hours in front of a computer, eating large amounts of junk food, and getting very little sleep at night. (Source:

Altiris has dubbed their program "Kiribilli to Kakadu", blending virtual reality and physical diet and exercise to provide a fun and healthy competition. The task is simple: accumulate as many virtual reality kilometers as it will take to get from Altiris' corporate offices to Kakadu, a safari park that will serve as the grand prize awarded to the one who reaches the virtual destination first. (Source:

Virtual kilometers are given each time an employee engages in a healthy or positive activity. Of the 120 software developers currently employed by Altiris, 44 have agreed to take part in this innovative "wellness program". (Source:

While the incentive is well worth the change, company spokespeople are still claiming that computer staples like pizza and soda are still prevalent throughout the office. Most of the people however, are incorporating fruits and salads along with these foods, so the competition is still being seen as a success. (Source:

Altiris has recently purchased a pool table, which employees can count towards their virtual kilometers if those using the equipment do so to take a break from sitting in front of a computer. The winner of the competition will be announced at the company Christmas party in December. (Source:

While the concept is revolutionary and the incentive is worth the sacrifice, it will be interesting to see how many people will actually be successful in overcoming the stressful conditions of their workplace.

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