Wellbeing & Health

How To Run A Step Challenge At Work?

4 Mins read

Organizations that prioritize health and wellness at the workplace save a lot by reducing productivity loss from sick leaves and healthcare expenses. Thinking about how to run a step challenge at work and hit that sweet 10.000 steps milestone?

With average office workers spending about 6.5 hours every day in front of computer screens, modern employees have become more sedentary than ever before, lowering their health quality and productivity. Fitness challenges, when done right, can prove to be a core element of a comprehensive wellness program in the organization. 

In this guide, let us try to understand how you can run a Step Challenge at your workplace as an effective way to keep your employees active and foster a healthier and more productive work environment. 

How To Run A Step Challenge At Work? A Complete Guide

Step Challenge Rules

While a corporate wellness program helps encourage your employees to be more active in their daily life, you need not give them a gym membership. A simple step challenge can be effective at motivating them to stay fit while having fun. 

A step challenge is simply a walking challenge where everybody competes to walk as much as they can. They either compete against themselves or co-workers, as teams or individuals.

A step challenge is an excellent way to gamify fitness and wellness activities. This means you offer rewards and badges that team members can unlock by completing milestones. Adding the element of the game into the program makes it highly motivating. 

It is a great way to boost friendly competition and increase participation. There are several ways to add fun and creative elements to a step challenge at work to increase its impact and appeal. 

Step Challenge Rules

A step challenge can be planned and introduced as a fun game in the organization to get people moving. The first consideration is to decide how long the challenge should last. An ideal timeframe is anywhere between 4-8 weeks. You can choose the team leaders who keep track of the step counts for their members and present reports to you at the end of the week. 

The next step is to decide on a common goal for the challenge, for example, 10,000 steps per day. You should consider whether you want to include outdoor walking routes, do it for a charity fundraiser, or want to set up a daily step challenge with weekly goals. You should also decide how steps will be measured. A step challenge at the workplace can have a few simple rules and nothing rigid or complicated. 

Firstly, decide on how many members a group has. Teams should be kept small at about five people. Team captains should maintain daily records for steps and report to the organizer. You should also have rules about what applies in specific circumstances. Unexpected events can sometimes require modifying rules. 

Workplace Step Challenge Templates

Regardless of the format, a step challenge should have a few core components like leader boards, communications, and a reward system. Workplace step challenge templates can be of great help to managers looking for a simple way to kick-start such programs. These ready-to-use tools facilitate functions like reporting, data aggregation, participant tracking, and leader board creation. 

10,000 Steps Workplace Challenge – Getting Started

How To Run A Step Challenge

Experts suggest that every individual should walk at least 10,000 steps per day to stay healthy and active. Modern studies also demonstrate the importance of consistency rather than the number. This means it is better to walk 4000 steps every day than 10,000 steps for three days in a week. Here are some ways you can get started with a 10,000 steps workplace challenge. 

Educate and Understand

It is best to avoid dropping a challenge like 10,000 steps on the employees without any explanation. Most people would want some education to understand the health benefits of simply walking. Secondly, ensure that every participant is capable enough and has the right set of tools and technology for counting steps. 

Next, it is important to understand the top excuses and barriers employees have. Some may find it inconvenient and boring while others may not have enough time and encouragement to participate. You need to address these problems in some way or the other to make your program successful. 

Keep it Short and Simple

Though extending the timeframe for a challenge has benefits, most organizations see better success with shorter terms. Competitions, if they last for months, can be easily forgotten or ignored. Shorter challenges create a sense of progress and momentum and encourage positive behaviors, avoiding boredom and burnout. 

Another requirement is to keep the challenge simple. When you complicate a fitness challenge with multiple variables and metrics, it not only becomes hard to plan, execute and manage but also makes it difficult to identify winners. Also, avoid buying wearables and other devices; instead, keep it simple by using a smartphone app to keep track of everything. 

Reward Well

Nobody would like to work hard to walk 10,000 steps sacrificing Netflix moments and ditching the elevator every day to win the challenge and find that the prize is something small like a fanny pack. Choose worthy rewards and ensure they align with the habits you are trying to incorporate in the workplace. So, instead of rewarding winners with gift certificates to restaurants, you can opt for a gift card for a local athletic store. 

Learn about the characteristics of reward management

Focus on Teamwork

The key to success is keeping participants engaged and motivated. If employees compete as individuals, they must motivate themselves to do good. However, if you encourage healthy competition between departments, the participants are influenced by external motivation and work towards achieving team goals. 

Other Fun Fitbit Challenges

10000 Steps Workplace Challenge

Workplace step challenges should be a part of a multi-faceted wellness program that fosters healthy positive habits in the workplace. You can introduce fun Fitbit challenges like weight loss programs, exercise sessions, and other games and activities that promote activity. While a walking challenge is a great way to introduce employees to fitness and encourage teamwork, there are plenty of creative ideas you can come up with to build an ecosystem of good health and well-being. 

Final Thoughts

There are several fun ways to engage teams in challenges that are easy to implement and track. A step challenge provides an excellent starting point to spread the importance of fitness and activity within the organization while indulging employees in some fun and healthy competition. With some simple tools and practices, you can leverage such activities to an advantage for the entire workplace.

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About author
Editor-in-Chief at Employee Experience Magazine.
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