Last year we worked with the University of Edinburgh to look at the impact of the Step Count Challenge on participants’ physical activity levels and motivation to walk more as a result if taking part in the challenge.

The research was carried out by Dr Ailsa Niven from the University of Edinburgh’s Physical Activity and Health Research Centre . Participants were asked to complete an online survey before the challenge and again in the weeks immediately after the challenge had ended.

At the eight week follow-up the results showed that there was an increase in the amount of time people were walking each week. The biggest increase was around active travel (eg walking to work) where there was a weekly increase of 109 minutes. There was also a 55 minute increase in walking as part of people’s leisure time.

We also looked at sedentary behaviour (or time spent sitting). The survey found that participants in the challenge were spending 368 minutes less time sitting each week. This really is good news as there is more and more research being published highlighting the health risks associated with sedentary behaviour, even for the most active amongst us.

We think all this is really good news, and demonstrates that we are helping people to reach the government’s recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate activity a week and to limit the amount of time spent sitting. We plan to carry out some more research with participants this year to find out why the challenge is getting people walking more and sitting less, so watch this space.

We have compiled the results of the research in the following infographic.