• 42,262,969 steps taken in six weeks
  • Average number of steps per person three times the amount recorded by NHS
  • Participants report sense of shared purpose from team walking
  • 75% of participants were female

UK employees separated during the pandemic have found an alternative way to reconnect and enhance their wellbeing according to data collated by HR, health, and wellbeing firm Everyday Juice Limited.

In a step challenge initiated by the Leeds-based firm, UK employees joined forces to compete, walking an average of 9,358 steps each per day.

Between 1 September and 11 October, a total of just under 42.5 million steps were recorded by 29 teams.

That’s almost all the way around the world – it has been suggested it takes just 43,252, 500 steps to walk around the world right on the equator[1].

Prior to lockdown, the NHS claimed that British people walked between 3000 and 4000 steps in a day[2].

The data from EJL’s ‘StrollwithIT’ challenge revealed the lockdown average amongst the 106 participating UK employees is almost three times this amount, suggesting activity levels have increased as people continue to work remotely.

One participant from Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust reported feeling more connected to her colleagues by completing the challenge:

“StrollwithIT motivated us, gave us a shared sense of purpose, and a reason to get out and about. It prompted us to have a couple of 'walking' meetings which my colleagues really appreciated."

Another participant from Leeds Trinity University said: “I’m so glad we took part. It got a bit of conversation going about activity and movement within our team and definitely encouraged more of us to up our step count.”

EJL’s ‘StrollwithIT’ challenge was launched in August 2020 in a bid to reconnect employees and enhance wellbeing amongst teams who continue to work remotely.

Participants were asked to form teams of up to no more than five and enter each team member’s steps every week. These teams were placed into leagues dependent on their size and those that finished with the highest number of steps were crowned league winners.

Twenty-nine teams made up of 106 employees from across the UK registered to take part in the step challenge.

58% of the total number of steps were completed by five-person teams.

29% were completed by four person teams, 6% three person teams, and 4% two person teams.

Of the 106 participants, 75% were female – 86% of these were team captains.

Gary Butterfield, co-founder and executive director at Everyday Juice Ltd said:

“The pandemic has forced many of us to work from home, blurring the lines between the workplace and the place where we tend to relax.

“Walking is one of the most accessible exercises that we can do, and offers us a fantastic opportunity to keep active, improve our mental and physical health, whilst also reconnecting with others.

“I developed ‘StrollwithIT’ as I knew it was a simple way to bring disconnected colleagues together, giving them a reason to collectively work toward a common goal outside of their day-to-day tasks.

“I’m absolutely delighted by the results and the feedback we’ve had. So much so that I’m planning to launch further challenges in the new year.”

Everyday Juice Limited was co-founded in 2015 after a successful launch of its wellbeing platform Juice to 8,200 University of Sheffield employees, as part of a three-year internal initiative.

Experts in HR, they believe that everyone has the right to be healthy and happy at work, connected to a community of people who want to make a positive impact on themselves in the workplace.

In January 2021, the firm will reveal details of the next StrollwithIT challenge ahead of national walking month.

To stay up to date, please visit www.juicelimited.co.uk.

[1] https://snowbrains.com/brain-post-how-far-does-the-average-human-walk-in-a-lifetime/

[2] https://www.caba.org.uk/help-and-guides/information/ways-reach-10000-steps-day#:~:text=According to the NHS the,you're not particularly active.