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What is Step Count Challenge?

Step Count Challenge is an 8-week long team-based challenge, that runs in the Spring and Autumn. The Challenge is designed to encourage people to walk more and adopt more active and healthy habits. Each team has a captain, who is responsible for keeping their team engaged, motivated and to make sure each of the other four team members diligently keep track of their personal step count!

The Challenge is run by the charity Paths for All, and usually costs £25 per team to participate. This year, due to the present public activity restrictions a few things are changing about Step Count Challenge for 2021:

  • The challenge will start on Monday 3 May 2021
  • The challenge will run for 8 weeks and end on Sunday 27 June 2021, 11:59PM
  • You may form your team with members of your household, and they do not have to be associated with the University

During the Challenge you keep track of your daily step count, using a pedometer or other device (such as a Fitbit). Different activities can be included in step counts as well as walking – running, cycling and swimming, for example. You regularly update your personal step count via the Step Count Challenge official website.

This year, due to the current policy of homeworking and social distancing, you may form a team with members of your household as well as colleagues to participate in the Challenge. The team captain must be a member of University staff but otherwise you can form your team from colleagues and household members. This is to promote participation and our connection with the wider communities in which we live. Team Captains must always be employed by the University and will be responsible for passing information on to any non-staff team members.

Key dates

Here are a few key dates for your calendar. Please make a note!



Closing date for sponsorship applications:

16 April, 5:00PM

Step Count Challenge Pre-Challenge Meet:

21 April, 1.00PM

Challenge starts:

03 May, 12:00AM

Challenge ends:

27 June, 11:59PM

Post-Challenge Meet:

30 June, 1.00pm

How can we take part?

The University Wellbeing and Engagement Group has now OPENED the call for sponsorship to take part.

Our sponsorship will cover the £25 team registration fee. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions in attending University sites, we are unable to supply a pedometer for each team member who is participating in the challenge for the first time.


Please note that other step-recording devices (e.g. Fitbits and smartphones) may be used to record your steps. It is not required for you to use the same make and model of pedometer as the ones issued to new Step Count Challenge participants in previous years.


If you wish to apply for sponsorship for a team to take part, just complete the online sponsorship application form.

How does it work?

Every team must have a unique name which they choose (bear in mind there’s an award for the Best Team Name, so be creative!) This team name, along with the individual team members’ names, needs to be included on the sponsorship form.


Once your team sponsorship is confirmed by the Wellbeing & Engagement Group, the team captain will receive an email directly from Paths For All with instructions on how to register the rest of your team on the official Step Count Challenge website.


The team captain must register the team on the Step Count website, so the team are ready to go before the start date on 3 May. It is very important that team members do not register themselves on the website.


Once the Challenge is underway, each team member can then log their steps the Step Count website through one of the following ways:

  • Sync your Fitbit to your account and record your steps automatically

  • Install the Google Fit App (for Android and Apple) on your smart phone and sync it to your account and record your steps automatically

  • Install the Stava App (for Android, Apple Watch and iPhone) on your smart phone and sync it to your account and record your steps automatically

  • Log in to the Step Count Challenge website and record your steps manually


Logging your steps can be done on a daily or weekly basis – whatever works for you.


Different activities can be included in step counts as well as walking – running, cycling, swimming, for example. Other activities such as gardening, cooking, cleaning and yoga can be converted into steps to count toward your total. Paths For All are working in collaboration with Fitbit to provide an Activity Conversion Table for you to use during the Challenge. Stava and Google Fit can log and convert your activity into steps automatically.


The Step Count website will then calculate a running step count total for the team. Weekly Step Count Challenge update emails will be sent to all participants to provide an update on how the challenge is progressing, share walk activities and photographs and let you know about Step Count Challenge events.

Step Count Challenge Awards

Step Count isn’t all about getting massive amounts of steps. It’s about getting people moving and building our community. At the Post-Challenge Celebration, we give out the following awards:


  • The Spirit of Step Count Award: recognising a captain or team member who has personified the ideal of being more active, not necessarily by achieving a massive step count!

  • The Best Scenic Walk Photo Award: for the most perfectly picturesque place to plot, patter and prance.

  • The Best Individual Walk Photo Award: exactly what it says. No animals, humans, or plants should be harmed or endangered in the pursuit of this photo opportunity.

  • The Best Group Walk Photo Award: as above but five times the fun!

  • The Best Team Name Award: no explanation needed. Puns, rhymes, acronyms, quotes, song titles, the name of your dog - the world’s your oyster!

What if I don't have a team and still want to take part?

Step Count Challenge is a team activity, so people can’t take part on their own.


However, we do have individuals without teams who do want to join in. If you are happy for us to match you up with other people in the same position, then we can create teams.


The team would still need a team name and someone to act as ‘captain’, but it is not necessary for the walking activities to be done together as a team – or even for team members to meet, as long as the captain keeps in contact with the team members.


If you are interested in joining a team on this basis, just send us an email at and let us know. We'll add you to our list and when we have enough people to create a team, we'll get back in touch.

What else do I need to know?

The official start date is 3 May 2021. Team members should start keeping track of and logging their step count from then.


The official end date is 27 June 2021, at 11:59PM. After this time, it will not be possible for you to record your steps. Therefore, please make sure that you record all of your steps before then.


Teams may also use Step Count Challenge as a means for raising money for charity. We will make sure that any charity fundraising is acknowledged on our webpages and social media, and we will be giving out certificates and prizes at the end of the Challenge to recognise the team which raises the most.


If you have any other questions email:

More about last year's Step Count Challenge

The 2019 Step Count Challenge was a huge success.

The University’s participation in the 2019 Step Count Challenge was a huge success. Here are some highlights:


  • 68 University teams took part (340 staff), representing 10% of the overall participation in the national challenge

  • 13% of all the steps walked across the country came from St Andrews

  • University teams walked an average of 17% more steps than the average national team

  • Overall, the University teams walked a massive 237,696,947 steps, equivalent to 112,545 miles!

Key dates

A few key dates for your diary, please make a note!

Step Count Challenge

The Challenge is 8 weeks of dedicated walking.  For information and news on previous years, please visit the archive:

Step Count Challenge 2016

Step Count Challenge 2017

Step Count Challenge 2018