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What is Step Count Challenge?

Step Count Challenge is an 8-week long team-based challenge, starting on 30 April 2018. It is designed to encourage people to walk more and adopt more active and healthy habits. Each team has a captain, who’s job is to keep the team engaged, motivated and to make sure each member diligently keeps track of their personal step count.

The Challenge is run by a charity called Paths for All, but for the last 3 years, the University Wellbeing and Engagement Group has sponsored staff teams to take part, and has also organised other University-specifc activities, to make this a 'University Challenge'.

During the challenge you keep track of your dailly step count, using a pedometer or other device (such as a fitbit). You regularly update your personal step count via the Step Count Challenge official website, and your team also submits a weekly, cumulative total to the University Wellbeing and Engagement Group.

In order to be sponsored by the University to take part, you must be a member of University staff, and you will need to be a member of a 5-person team.

Staff from all Schools and Service Units can apply for sponsorship - you just need to set up a team, and then submit the sponsorship application. 

Different activities can be included in step counts as well as walking – running, cycling and swimming, for example. During the challenge a lunch is organised for all teams to get together and at the end of the challenge there a recognition event to acknowledge the achievements of all the University teams taking part.

Key dates

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



Closing date for sponsorship applications

12 April 2018, 5.00pm (extended to 18th April)


Captains' meeting (captains only!)


20th April, 12.45 to 13.45, Byre Studio

Challenge starts


30 April 2018

Mid challenge meet-up (all participants invited)


30th May, 13.15 to 14.15, Byre Studio

Challenge ends


24 June 2018

Post-challenge meet-up and certificate presentations (all participants invited)


12th July, 12.30 to 13.30, Parliament Hall

How can we take part?

The University Wellbeing and Engagemnet Group is sponsoring teams to take part in the Step Count Challenge.

The University Wellbeing and Engagement Group has now OPENED the call for sponsorship to take part. Last year 78 University teams took part -  our target this year is 100 teams.


Our sponsorship will cover the £25 team registration fee and we also will supply a pedometer for team members who need them. Please note that if team members have already received a pedomoeter from previous wellbeing initiatives, a new one will not be issued (bear in mind, as well, that Fitbits and smartphone apps may also be used to record your step count).


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 has a unique name which they choose, this team name along with the individual team members are included on the sponsorship form. Once your team sponsorship is confrmed, you will get instructions on how to register your team and individual members on the official Step Count Challenge website, so that you are ready to go before the start date on 30 April. 


Members are then able to log in to the Step Count website and can update their personal step count totals whenever it is convenient - could be daily or weekly for example.


The website will then calculate the step count total for the team.

Step Count Challenge Awards

Step Count isn’t all about getting massive amounts of steps. It is about getting people moving, building our community, New Awards introduced for this year include:


  • 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 Team Captain of the Year Award: acknowledging a team captain who has gone above and beyond to support their team (nominated by team members, not the captain…)

  • The Best Idea for Steps at Work Award: let your creativity run wild with walking meetings, walking coffee breaks, walking lunches - you get the picture.

  • 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 Community Award: recognising a team that use their participation to contribute to the community, either by raising money for charity or other good deeds along the way.

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

  • The Wellbeing & Engagement Group Award: the award winner’s award! Acknowledging an outstanding contribution to the University Step Count community, this is a special award selected from all the other 2018 award-winners.

How will Step Count Challenge be managed within the University?

The University Wellbeing and Engagement Group will coordinate the registration of sponsored teams and individual team members. Once we have approved your sponsorship application we will contact the team captain and provide your registration details. Please ask your team members not to independently register themselves on the Step Count website.

The Wellbeing and Engagement Group will be in regular contact with team captains before and during the challenge. All communication between the Wellbeing and Engagement Group and teams will be via the team captains, who are expected to share information with their team members.


We will supply pedometers to team members if requested (as above), but you can use your own Fitbit, smartphone app or other device that will maintain a step count. Bear in mind that different devices may count steps differently. We will not arbitrate disputes about how step counts are measured!! We are not able to replace lost, broken, or malfunctioning pedometers. The pedometers provided are entry-level devices aiming to enable participation. Participants may wish to provide their own device as they continue through the challenge.


Team captains are required to provide us with an updated cumulative step count total on a weekly basis (i.e. the grand total of steps walked by the team up to that date). An appointment will be added to every team captain's Outlook calendar on the relevant days, and this will include a hyperlink to a form where the updated team step count will be entered.  We are not able to arbitrate any disputes about how often team members, or other teams, upload their step counts within a week.


PLEASE NOTE that a condition of sponsorship is that teams maintain their step count total BOTH on the Step Count Challenge official website AND via the weekly step count updates to the Wellbeing and Engagement Group.


The weekly total provided by each team will be included in a weekly summary that we will send out to captains, but we will not be providing a full ‘league table’ of step counts. Bear in mind that totals provided will not all be submitted on the same day or necessarily include all team members' totals. They will all come right in the end!


We will be arranging a number of meetings/events during the challenge and these are listed in the 'Key dates' section below.


Team captains: please note the Captains' Meeting will be during the week commencing 20 April 2018, 12.45 to 13.45, Byre Theatre Studio. It's very important that you attend. If you are unable, please send a team member to deputise. 


At the mid point of the challenge we will hold a lunchtime get-together and all team members will be invited.


At the end of the challenge we will be holding a recognition event to acknowledge the achievements of all the University teams taking part.

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 Monday 30 April 2018. Team members should start keeping track of and logging their step count from then. Every Friday team captains will also provide an update on team totals to the Wellbeing and Engagement group, as above. 


Different activities can be included in step counts as well as walking – running, cycling and swimming, for example. Check the Step Count Challenge website for more information -


All team members are required to keep their individual step count up to date by logging in to the Step Count website (once registered), but it is the responsibility of the captains to make sure that they do this diligently.


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: -  we’ll compile some FAQ’s so we can keep everyone informed.

More about last year's Step Count Challenge

The 2017 Step Count Challenge was a huge success.

The 2017 Step Count Challenge ended on 25 June after 8 weeks of dedicated walking. New records were set this year. 78 University teams took part (390 staff), which is a huge increase on the 33 teams in 2016, and 9 teams in 2015. Between them they walked more than 300 million steps, equivalent to around 142,000 miles. 57 of our 78 teams were in the top half of the national league table, 18 were in the top 100 and two teams finished in the top 10, out of the 968 teams taking part.


For those interested in the activities of Step Count Challenge 2017 and 2016, please visit Step Count 2017 and Step Count 2016

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