Walking works for Scotland's workplaces

Escaping the office, feeling fitter, and enjoying a walk and talk with workmates in the outdoors.

Walk at work

Just a few of the reasons people sign up for the Step Count Challenge, our fun walking challenge for workplaces.

The challenge starts on 28 October, so now is a great time to get a team together and walk more during the working day.

For four weeks, teams of five from workplaces across the country will motivate each to be move active from 9 to 5.

Teams can log their steps onto our online platform, have access to weekly targets, and receive motivational hints and tips from us along the way. We'll have great prizes up for grabs through weekly competitions and you'll be able to win and collect badges for achieving step goals.

We'll also keep you posted about which teams are topping our coveted leader board.

Those who have taken part in previous challenges say it’s a great morale booster and encourages teams to escape the office for open greenspaces and fresh air.

Here’s what a few past participants had to say:

“It kept me motivated to get out and walk as much as I could. Usually, rain puts you off going for a lunchtime walk, but I still made sure I got out and stretched my legs every day.”

“I've lost 2.5 stone in weight and have given up the inhaler. I'm going to continue to monitor and record my steps and progress. A positive, individual experience but must be part of a better team next time!”

“It encouraged me to do that little extra sometimes when I may have previously opted to take the car.”

Getting creative about how to be active during the working day is one of the best things about the Step Count Challenge. Why not arrange a walking meeting  rather than staying seated indoors, or walk to a workmate's desk rather than messaging them?

Ditch screentime at lunchtime and go for a wander instead. Don't take the lift, opt for the stairs, and change a coffee break into a quick, invigorating power walk. You could also park further away from your office, or get off the train a stop earlier to get in a few extra steps.

Making the effort to do more walking during the working day can also have a long-lasting effect.

Richard, who was part of the Spring Step Count Challenge winning team said:

The two Step Challenges I have taken part in have been so much fun and a wonderful way of making friends with colleagues at work I probably wouldn’t have gotten to know. The team spirit and friendly inter-team competitiveness is brilliant. The banter, the planned walks, the physical and spiritual change in teammates – all so memorable.

The beauty is that it doesn’t all stop once the challenges end. Due to my team finding so much enjoyment on a daily basis we have chosen to carry on walking at lunch and meeting up for impromptu walks in the evening and weekends. Simply put it has changed our lives and all for the better.

The Step Count Challenge is good for your health, good for business and great for the environment.

Being physically active can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 35 per cent. It can also help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent and depression and dementia by 30 per cent.

Research also shows that employees who are physically active generally take fewer sick days, are more productive and focussed, and are more able to concentrate. Leaving the car at home and walking to work also reduces harmful emissions and traffic congestion.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up to the Step Count Challenge today or email us if you have any questions. We'll be there to help, support and motivate you every step of the way.