Plogging: A New Trend Combining CSR and Wellness

A good run can often be interrupted by an unsightly confetti trail of litter. The constant disruption of stunning views with human debris signals a larger problem of ecosystem ruination.

Luckily, fitness fanatics in Scandinavia contrived a solution to help do their part. They’ve invented “plogging,” or picking up trash while jogging. The phrase is a mash-up of jogging and the Swedish phrase “plocka upp,” which means pick up.

Joggers in the Nordic country have been flocking to the forests for some time now to do Mother Nature justice. Now, the wave is coming to U.S. shores—it might even have a place in the meeting and events world.

Plogging for Planners

The activity can lend itself to a team-building session that blends CSR and wellness, two things attendees have come to expect from corporate events. Although picking up a bottle or two may seem insignificant, getting as a lot of people to participate can help attack a monumental issue.

Getting your group involved shows that your company cares about the environment and is taking active steps to remedy the many problems within it. It’s a more hands-on approach, rather than passive, and shows true effort and real-time results. Gathering to make a difference quickly establishes a warm rapport within a business.

Promoting healthy habits is a trend that’s also on the rise in the events sector. Attendees are progressively aware that they need to take care of their bodies. People want to feel energized and balanced, as opposed to groggy from sugar-loaded snacks and meetings that require sitting for much of the time.

It’s no secret that jogging has health benefits. But because plogging takes place outside, there are added health benefits. In Japan, being immersed in nature is known as “forest bathing.” The country has designated healing forests where people can experience nature uninterrupted. The act of connecting with nature has been proven to lower heart-rate and blood pressure, boost the immune system and improve metabolic health.

Dr. Darria Long Gillespie told Better, NBC News’ health website, that exercising outside makes physical activity easier and simply makes you feel better. Dr. Barbara Bergin said in the same article that bending over (to pick up trash) additionally stretches the back, buttocks, hamstrings and calves.

“Plogging is multitasking in its best form,” Bergin said.

Plalking, or walking and picking up litter, is an equally great option if attendees have health reasons preventing them from jogging or strenuous exercise.

How to Incorporate Plogging at Your Next Event

If your office or venue of choice is located near a forest, why not skip the amusement park for some socially responsible team bonding? Pick what’s simple and most suitable for your destination. Or, embark on a guided coastal hike, offered in states such as California, and ask if you can plog along the way.

Lifesum is a fitness app backed by Keep America Beautiful. The app has a special feature that allows users to input time spent plogging and calculates calories. Lifesum encourage users to take pictures while plogging using hashtags #plogging and #DoBeautifulThings to spread eco-awareness. You can make calorie counting a game, or widely disseminate your brand’s values across social media.

“Plogging is brilliant because it is simple and fun, while empowering everyone to help create cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities,” says Keep America Beautiful Senior Vice President Mark Rosen. “All you need is running gear and a bag for trash or recyclables, and you are not only improving your own health, but your local community too.”


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