How to boost team well-being through physical and social activity.

Run with a few ‘Inventiumised’ twists, we upped the wellbeing and connection benefits compared with a standard stepping challenge. While a ‘Steptember’ challenge lends itself to being held in September, we saw unexpected benefits from having the challenge after a new remote team member came on board.

Aim

To enhance team well-being through physical and social activity.

Resources

  • A challenge period (we suggest a month)
  • Step counters/Smart Watches (per participant)
  • A central communication channel (we used our social WhatsApp group)
  • A basic tracking spreadsheet
  • A Step Leader
  • Prizes for the winning team

Method

  1. Divide your people into equal teams; 4-5 per team is ideal.
  2. Each team needs a name and a captain. The captain enters each group member’s daily step count into the tracking spreadsheet.
  3. For each working day of the challenge, participants record their steps and score points for their team as follows: 5000+ = 1pt, 8000+ = 2pts, 10000+ = 3pts.
  4. Each week the Step Leader sets a photo challenge for teams to earn five bonus points – these challenges are designed to drive social connection and all team members must complete the challenge to earn the bonus points. Some examples of photo challenges include:
    1. Post a photo of your most prized household possession
    2. Post a photo of your most Masterchef-like meal this week
    3. Post a family photo doing what you do best outside the home
  5. To encourage more stepping, the Step Leader can also create other bonus challenges for points at their discretion e.g.
    1. Head-to-head battles where team members are ranked according to their steps and battle teammates of the equivalent rank from other teams
    2. Dance-offs where teams go head-to-head ‘dancing’ to a song. The team with the most steps at the end of the song wins the bonus points
  6. At the end of the challenge, organise a celebration to announce the winning team. You may want to give special awards to the most consistent stepper or the highest stepper.

Outcome

After completing this challenge for a month, your team members will probably feel like slaves to their smartwatches. However, they are also likely to have formed positive new physical activity habits. Increasing your steps as an office worker is not easy, but it is so very important for physical and mental health. Running the Steptember challenge alongside photo and bonus point challenges provides all team members with a chance to participate (even if they aren’t a big stepper) and to connect with others in a fun and friendly way – perfect for new starters to fast track getting to know their new colleagues.