A 10,000 step challenge can happen all year long. You can walk outside, inside, and take the stairs. All you need is a pair of decent sneakers and an accurate pedometer.
The 10,000 step program was designed to help people be more aware of physical activity in hopes of increasing it. Step challenges can easily be incorporated with the larger Weight Loss Challenges that take place in offices all over the world.
The Main Benefits
The benefits of a 10,000 step challenge include improved health, fitness, productivity and even overall morale. It makes for a great team building activity to help improve job satisfaction. It is even better when accompanied with corporate health benefits like incentivized gym memberships or nutrition counselling.
Increased awareness of fitness and activity is another benefit. By tracking daily steps and making goals to increase or maintain is a healthy way of bringing fitness awareness to the foreground.
When setting up a 10,000 step challenge you need to be able to ensure you have the following:
– Choose a start date for the challenge
– Pick Team Leaders
– Divide the personnel into teams – approximately 5 per team.
– Ensure each team member has a quality and accurate pedometer. It is a good practice to have the exact same pedometer for all.
– Appoint a record keeper for each team.
– Appoint one coordinator for all teams.
– Have a place to track and display teams and individuals progress and totals.
– Decide on the main goal for the groups. Show the distance of the goal and record the percent of completion as the challenge progresses.
– Daily or weekly announcements to the groups. Communicate how everyone is doing, how the goal accomplishments are going, and provide motivation and encouragement.
How to Get in 10,000 Steps
Here are some step FACTS.
The average office worker walks around 3000 to 5000 steps during the workday.
The average person stride (step) is 2.1 – 2.5 feet.
Less than 5000 steps is considered “sedentary”
10,000 steps is about 5 miles and takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk a mile.
How to Convert Activity to Steps
If your office group has decided to use activity conversions to add more steps to the daily total, here are some examples:
Moderate intensity activities like swimming or dancing can be calculated that every 10 minutes is the same as 1000 steps. So if you swim for 30 minutes after work that can be recorded as 3000 additional steps.
For high intensity activities like running, cycling, and aerobics; you can calculate twice the amount of steps. For example, if you participate in 20 minute aerobic class you can calculate 2000 steps for every 10 minutes. This will add up to the equivalent of 4000 steps to add to your daily total.
Ideas for Increasing Daily Step Count
Setting goals is one of the best ways to increase your steps. Every time you reach your daily goal try adding an additional 1% to the steps. Try making bets with yourself and rewards when you reach each goal.
Other tips for increasing steps can include:
– Make appointments with your team for daily walks together.
– Walk a dog. If you don’t have one you can volunteer at a shelter or a local elderly persons dog.
– Get your friends and family involved.
– Whenever you have to go upstairs, anywhere, take the stairs and not the elevator.
– Don’t park close to the building. Park far away.
– Walk to the farther bus stop and get off a block earlier than your usual stop.
– If you are standing in place waiting, walk in a circle instead.
– Use the upstairs bathroom. Drink lots of water so you go often.
– Unpack the shopping bags from the car, one at a time.
– Walk or pedal on short trips and shopping.