The Step Count Challenge is recruiting teams of five to sign up for the eight-week initiative which aims to get everyone moving more, sitting less and staying connected in and around the working day.
Last year, over 420 teams took part in our autumn challenge including teachers, nurses, council employees, engineers, university staff, accountants and charity workers.
Starting on Monday, 5 October, the autumn 2020 challenge is open to all workplaces and their staff, whether office based or working from home.
Lunchtime walks, active breaks, walking phone meetings and online workouts all count towards the step totals and can be done while following current government guidelines.
Teams will have access to a revamped Step Count website where they can log steps, sync fitness trackers, message team mates, and chart their progress on the leader board.
Ian Findlay CBE, our Chief Officer said:
With the dark nights and cooler days just around the corner, the autumn Step Count Challenge offers the perfect motivation to get active and healthy in a fun way.
The lockdown months perhaps meant a few of us were not as active as we’d normally be, and some of us may even have gained a few pounds. Even now, with many of us working from home, we can feel like we do a lot of sitting or just spend too long indoors.
Working life, like many other things, may still look and feel different, but there’s lots of opportunities to incorporate walking and activity into our day, from lunchtime walks and phone meetings on the move to online workouts, using the car less often and enjoying fun, 10-minute bursts of activity during breaks via Zoom or Teams.
The call to join the latest Step Count Challenge comes as new research shows that taking part boosts mental wellbeing and increases social connectedness.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh surveyed several hundred people who took part in the lockdown edition in May and found “statistically significant” changes in participants’ happiness and life satisfaction.
Victoria Whiteford, MSc student at the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre who led the research said:
These findings add evidence that the Step Count Challenge had a positive mental wellbeing impact on those who took part.
The challenge helped people to be outside more, gave them a focus and a distraction from other stresses, made them more productive, helped them sleep better and provided more social interaction that they would have otherwise had.
Those taking part in the autumn Step Count Challenge will be motivated to reach and exceed goals throughout the eight weeks by Paths for All’s blogs, tips, fun competitions, and every team will be automatically entered into prize draws worth hundreds of pounds each week.
Visit www.stepcount.org.uk to register a team for £30 or to find out more.