Stepping up during the school day: the Clackmannanshire Step Count Challenge
In March, Lornshill Active Travel Hub ran a bespoke Step Count Challenge involving staff, students and parents from Lornshill Academy's school community. Reaching out to other schools in Clackmannanshire meant that other staff and students could join in too. Project Officer Jodie Hutton took some time to tell us about the Clackmannanshire Step Count Challenge.
The Clackmannanshire Step Count Challenge was set up and run by the Lornshill Active Travel Hub during March 2021. The challenge is usually run as an in-school competition, however with the school closures and lockdowns it was decided to run an inter-school community challenge to involve pupils, staff, parents, family and friends that are involved in any of the Clackmannanshire schools. The aim of the challenge was to boost community spirit whilst also highlighting the positive effect that physical activity, specifically active travel, can have on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Overall, over 300 people from the Clackmannanshire school community registered to take part in the challenge. It was really important to us that there were minimal barriers for anyone looking to take part in the challenge so we provided basic pedometers to anyone who needed them.
The challenge was four weeks long, therefore it was important that we kept motivation levels up throughout the challenge. We did this by sending out weekly updates to all team members, offering Love2Shop vouchers for the top three teams as well as running photography competitions and allowing teams to vote for their favourite team name.
The challenge was really well received by the community, who completed 94,402,989 steps in total over the course of four weeks. Along the way, participants took to social media to share pictures of their walks around Clackmannanshire and surrounding areas. Many of the participants expressed that their favourite thing about the challenge was going out for walks as a family; others loved working as part of a team and the motivation that the competition gave them. We saw increases in active travel rates across three quarters of those who left us feedback, and the majority of people said they would continue these habits after the challenge. We saw a real sense of community and connection between schools throughout the challenge.
Some of the participants left really lovely feedback about the challenge:
“The challenge has encouraged me to consider how I can build more activity into my daily routine. I have now found that I take a daily lunchtime walk, instead of sitting for the duration of my break and this has had a significant impact on my mental health, as well as my general fitness and energy levels. This is a habit that I intend to keep up after the challenge is over. It has also been an opportunity to come together and share an experience as a staff team, something we have missed out on often over the last year.”
“Thank you! This was just what I needed during lockdown. I had no idea how rewarding it would be or that now, near the end, I would comfortably be walking 12-15 miles per day!”
“This challenge motivated me and brought my colleagues closer together as we discussed the challenge and shared walking route recommendations.”
This challenge has been by far the most successful we have run at Lornshill Active Travel Hub both in terms of participation and engagement through social media, emails and schools. It has been fantastic to see the impact that the challenge has had on the community, not only raising physical activity levels but lifting spirits during the third lockdown of the year.
Find out more about how to run a bespoke Step Count Challenge here.