Workplace Walking Challenges

A fun and effective way to encourage staff to walk to work and at work is to run competitions. These can take the form of a Workplace Walking or Stairclimbing Challenge. Walking and climbing the stairs are easy to fit around the working day and are great team building activities.

A man walking up stairs

This toolkit offers information on:

Decide the distance you will walk and the format for the challenge. Staff can compete against each other in small groups and record how many steps they take collectively throughout the week using pedometers. A prize can then be offered to the winning team who records the most steps.

Alternatively, staff can record their steps individually and these are then pooled towards an office target to walk a chosen long distance route. Look here for some inspiration.

The British Heart Foundation has free pedometer challenge resources available for download. This contains everything you need including; organiser notes, promotional materials, step count sheets, certificates etc. It also includes a sample pedometer which can be purchased from the British Heart Foundation online shop. Alternatively, pedometers can be bought in bulk cheaply from as little as £0.65 each.

A stair climb challenge is a quirky way to get hearts pumping and increase employees’ step count. Individuals or teams use the stairs at work to climb the equivalent height of a famous mountain or landmark in a virtual climb. The British Heart Foundation has a free guide to running a stair climb challenge including everything you need such as; virtual climb statistics, record sheets etc.

You can print free posters from Step Jockey to display on stair landings during a step challenge or all year round. The posters display the total number of steps between the ground floor and each floor in the building, average calories burned to each floor, and motivational messages to encourage stair use.

Template Email

Dear Colleague,

Put your best foot forward for [name of organisation]!

From [date] to [date] of [month] we will be holding a walking/stairclimbing challenge.

Delete as applicable –

We will be recording our steps collectively and trying to walk the equivalent distance of [insert challenge mileage]

We will be recording our steps collectively and trying to climb the equivalent height of [insert challenge height]

Pedometers and record sheets will be provided for the challenge. We’ll be in touch before the start date with more information and tips.

Walking apps can add some variety and competition to your walking and even earn rewards, whether as an individual or team.  You could also use the following apps for a workplace challenge.

The Virtual Walk Your distance gets plotted on a virtual walk through a scenic or historic place. At checkpoints along the way you can view photos and information about the sights along the way.

World Walking Choose a virtual route to walk and start discovering the sights, as a group with friends or colleagues, or solo. Download the free app to track your progress.

Charity Miles Log your miles with the free app for your chosen charity and these equate to money.

See the Promoting Walking Toolkit for information on Walk to Work Week and template resources for lunchtime walks.