Skip to main content

New Year Step Challenge

Our Step Challenge is back for 2024!  Step into the new year by joining colleagues across the University for our latest challenge which takes place Monday 29 January – Sunday 4 February.

Did you know?

  • Walking enhances the natural release of endorphins (our ‘feel-good’ chemicals) which stimulate relaxation, reduce stress and improve our sense of wellbeing.
  • Even a short burst of 10 minutes walking can boost our mental alertness, energy and mood.
  • Walking also increases our level of rest – helping us achieve deeper sleep and improving our sleep patterns.

Those registering will be randomly assigned to a team of six colleagues, competing against other participating groups to cover the furthest distance/accumulate the most steps in a week.We are committed to making the step challenge inclusive. People of all abilities are welcome and there are alternative methods to measure and track movement. 

How the Step Challenge works

  • Following registration you will be invited to join the lively Step Challenge Teams channel.
  • Once you have been allocated to your group, decide what your team name will be.
  • The challenge begins on Monday 29 January at 00:00. From that point onward, team members will log their steps/distance in our challenge form throughout the week. We encourage you to submit a daily total of steps/distance covered at the end of each day.
  • Throughout the week participants can upload their challenge selfies, photos and words of encouragement to others on the Teams channel.
  • The challenge finishes on Sunday 4 February at 23.59. The team accumulating the most steps/covering the furthest distance overall wins the challenge. The winners will be revealed on Monday 5 February.

The benefits of taking part

  • This is a great opportunity to meet people and find encouragement from your teammates as you work towards your activity goals.
  • Improve your health and wellbeing – regular physical activity is associated with numerous mental and physical health benefits such as improved cardiovascular health, immune function, mood and energy.
  • Contribute to your weekly activity levels recommended by the NHS.

Here’s what our previous Step Challengers have said:

“When working from home I’d got into a bad habit of not taking a break or moving enough. This challenge gave me the motivation to change my routine and get more active.”

“The Step Challenge got me out and away from my desk and I really enjoyed being part of the Teams channel community – thanks for the encouragement! I’ll definitely be continuing with my lunchtime walk each day and signing up to the next competition.”

Measuring your steps/distance

Whatever your fitness level, whether you are walking or wheeling, there are a number of ways to measure and convert your movement into distance. Details are below but please contact the Health and Wellbeing Team if you would like further information.   

Most smartphones have an inbuilt fitness app that will measure your steps/calculate your distance when you are carrying your device, for example Health (iOS only) and Google Fit (iOS and Android).

The following apps, available on iOS and Android, are also free to download:

  • Pacer: step counter and distance tracker
  • Fitbit: step counter (you do not need a Fitbit device to use the Fitbit app)
  • MapMyWalk: tracks your journey and displays your route on a map. Records various stats including step count and distance
  • StepsApp: step counter, records wheelchair pushes when paired with an Apple watch

If you do not have access to technology that supports any of the above apps, you can use the desktop Google Map Pedometer to record your route which will then be calculated into distance.

Earn bonus points 

There are bonuses available to keep you motivated and get your team to the finish line. There are 3 photo categories where you can earn extra points:

  • The weather today: icy, wet, cloudy, misty (maybe even sunny!), find a creative way to capture the elements.
  • A cosy moment: an image that conveys contentment and warmth. 
  • Reflections: watery landscapes, puddles, windows or possibly a quiet place you visit to think and relax. Interpret this theme in any way you choose!

3000 steps will be awarded to the winner of best photo in each category, 2000 steps will be awarded for second place in each photo category, and 1000 steps will be awarded for third place in each photo category. We look forward to seeing what you capture!

Organised walks for step challengers

Boost your steps and connect with others! Responding to your feedback we’ve collated some in-person events to support and encourage us all to get out more during the Step Challenge Week (and beyond!).

Register your interest

Sign up by completing our short online form. The deadline to register is 5:00pm on Thursday 25 January. 

Contact us

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Greg Hull | Health and Wellbeing Officer |

Rosanna Pinder | Health and Wellbeing Co-ordinator |