What’s the Step Count Challenge all about?
The Step Count Challenge aims to get people more active through walking more in our day-to-day lives. Participants take part in teams of 5. Participants measure the distance walked each day using a pedometer, app or other activity tracker. The number of steps taken each day is then recorded on the Step Count Challenge website. You can count steps in work time and outwith work. The spring challenge lasts for 8 weeks and the autumn challenge runs for 4 weeks.

But that is a long time!
It is, but we’ll provide lots of encouragement to keep you walking. Each week we’ll send out an update email with the latest news, national step count total and ideas on how to up your step count.

Can my workplace have its own Step Count Challenge?
Yes. You can do your own thing and run a challenge just for your workplace, anytime you want. Contact us to find out more about this option.

How much does it cost to take part?
It costs £25 for a team of 5 people. You can choose to either pay online or we can send you an invoice.

How do I register my team for the challenge?
First you need to login, or create register with the challenge website here. You will then be taken to the Purchase Menu which will display all the upcoming challenges.

You can purchase a single team or multiple teams and pay online. We can also arrange to invoice you, please contact us for more details.

You can also access the Purchase Menu when you login to your account. You should see a list of current challenges at the top of your profile page. Just click on the latest challenge and you will be taken to the Purchase Menu.

To get the rest of your team signed up, follow the steps in the next FAQ.

How do I join a Step Count Challenge team?
Your Team Captain will need to share a url weblink that is unique to your team. This weblink appears on your profile page. The Team Captain will copy the link and email it to you. Click the link and either login or sign up as a new user and follow the instructions.

You will be able to see who has joined your team by clicking the Team tab on your profile page.

Why do you charge for taking part?
The registration fee covers part of the running costs of the challenge including the prizes and challenge administration.

How do I redeem a code?
If your workplace has bought multiple teams or you have requested to be invoiced, you will supplied with a voucher code ((it’ll look something like this: vPNG9GRDykm03E+RwXztPw). Please note. this code should only be redeemed by the Team Captain.

To redeem the code click this link https://challenge.stepcount.org.uk/RegistrationVoucherActivate and login or create an account if you are a new user. Enter the voucher code (the voucher code can only be used once per team so please complete registration once you have used this). You will now be asked to enter some registration information and create a team name. Please follow the instructions. You will then be taken to your profile page.

My Voucher Code has expired, what do I do?
If your voucher code has expired and won’t let you register your team, it’s been used too many times. Please contact us and we’ll sort this out.

I’ve forgotten my password
Go to the login page and click on ‘forgotten password’ and enter your email address. We’ll email you with instructions on how to reset your password. Please note that you must do this as soon as you receive the reset password email. If you can’t remember which email address you used, or haven’t received the Password Reset email, check your junk folder and if it’s not there either contact us.

I have tried to login but it’s saying ‘Could not find user’
This message comes up when the email entered doesn’t have a match on our system. Please retype your email address and password. Please contact us if the problem continues and we’ll help you out.

I’ve signed up more than once for the same team, what can I do?
Please contact us and we can delete the extra account for you.

Can I change my team name?
Yes. Your team captain can do this for you. They need to login to the website, click on the Team page and there is a link next to team name where they can edit the name.

How do I record my steps?
We recommend that you use a pedometer to record your steps. If you are buying your own pedometers, we’d recommend that you shop carefully. We have found that cheaper pedometers aren’t always accurate, have poor battery life, build quality and if they don’t have a safety leash can be dropped or lost. All of this can be really frustrating.

If you and your teammates need to purchase some pedometers, Be-Active Ltd specialise in supplying pedometers and activity trackers to NHS, local government, health professionals, companies, schools, walking groups and individuals across the UK. All products are supplied under warranty www.be-activeltd.co.uk/

Can I use a smartphone app?

Yes, if you use a smartphone you’ll find a range of free pedometers in your app store or you may even have a pedometer already loaded on your phone. We don’t recommend any in particular so you’ll need to shop about. Not only are many apps free, but they can provide accurate information without having to use another gadget. Obviously, you’ll need to carry your phone about with you at all times to make sure you count every step. The main drawback of using your phone is that some apps can drain your battery quite quickly. You will still need to login to the Step Count Challenge website and enter your daily step count.

How do I add activity?
Login to your profile page. Click the Add Activity tab, enter your steps and the date and click Add Activity.

You can also enter running, cycling and swimming activity. We’ll convert distance to steps. Please note for cycling we have a 1:4 ratio, so to earn one mile of walking steps you’ll need to cycle four miles. We do this to bring everything down to walking speed.

How do I delete activity?
If you have entered the wrong step count and want to delete it, login to your profile and click on the Edit Activity tab. To delete the unwanted data, click the red X at the end of the row.

Are there Rules?
Yes, we have 10 golden rules:

1. Let’s keep it simple
2. Teams should consist of 5 people
3. Each team must have a team captain
4. You should wear your pedometer or other device every day
5. You must record your steps using the challenge website
6. No shaking your pedometers
7. If your pedometer breaks or your battery runs out you can take an average number of steps for that day
8. Prizes are awarded for taking part rather than who has walked the most
9. A bit of competition is good, but play fair and keep it friendly
10. It’s the journey that counts

How much walking do I need to do?

We want you to increase your activity, but at your own pace. We should all aim to be active every day. 150 minutes (2½ hours) is the amount of time we should be taking part in moderate physical activity each week*. This can be broken up into chunks of 10 minutes, so it’s easy to fit into a busy day. You could:

Park a 10 minute walk from the office or get off the bus a stop early
Go for a 10 minute walk at lunchtime or in the evening

*Source: Start Active, Stay Active, A report on physical activity for health from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers, 2011

What’s moderate physical activity?
Physical activity can include walking, gardening, dancing as well as sport and exercise. As a general rule of thumb you should:

Feel slightly warmer
Breathe a little faster
Feel your heart beating a little quicker
But still be able to hold a conversation

Obviously, if you start to feel unwell when walking or if you have any concerns speak to your GP.

How many steps are in a mile?
We are calculating that 2,235 steps are the equivalent to one mile. Everyone’s stride is different so this is just an average.

What’s the big deal about walking?
Walking has lots of benefits. Evidence shows walking can improve both physical and mental health in lots of ways. A physically active workforce has also been shown to take less sick days, be more productive and will also give staff morale a healthy boost. If you are working towards your Healthy Working Lives Award then participation in the challenge will also contribute towards this. Have a look here for more information.

Goal Setting
We’d like to help you increase your walking. When you login to your profile you’ll see that we have set you a weekly target. We’ll ask you to increase this gradually. This target should be easily achievable by introducing a bit more walking into your daily routine.

Firstly, we’ll work out your baseline number of steps. This is based on the activity you add in the first week of the challenge. We’ll then set you a step goal each week, which should be achievable by making a few changes here and there to your daily routine. You can see your step goal on your profile page. Here’s how it works for an 8 week challenge:

Week one – we work out your average number of daily steps and round this number up to the nearest 500. This is your starting step count.

Week two – we take your starting step count and add 1,500 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 3 days of the week.

Week three – we take your starting step count and add 1,500 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 5 days of the week.

Week four – we take your starting step count and add 1,500 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 5 days of the week.

Week five – we take your starting step count and add 3,000 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 3 days of the week.

Week six – we take your starting step count and add 3,000 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 3 days of the week.

Week seven – we take your starting step count and add 3,000 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 5 days of the week.

Week eight – we take your starting step count and add 3,000 steps. Your target is to reach this number on 5 days of the week.

To walk 1,000 steps takes around about 10 minutes, so by the end of the challenge we hope to increase your activity by around 30 minutes throughout the course of the day on 5 days of the week.

Can I record other activities?
Yes, you can enter information on cycling, running and swimming. Enter how far you’ve gone and the website will convert this to steps.

Need more help?
If you have a query that isn’t answered in the FAQs, please contact us at walkatwork@pathsforall.org.uk