Step Count Challenge Research

We work with researchers from across a number of Scottish Universities to learn more about the effectiveness of the Step Count Challenge.

An illustration of a woman in a dress walking with a coffee cup walking with tall buildings in the background

The nature of this collaboration started with individual researchers approaching Paths for All with specific interest in studying the Step Count Challenge. Over time, this collaboration has evolved and now includes projects based on research questions developed through the collaborative exchange.

Our aims and objectives 

The aims of this group are to foster an inclusive research community, build collaborations between stakeholders, and conduct high-quality and pragmatic real-world research to support the delivery of the Step Count Challenge. There is also capacity to widen the scope of the group.

The objectives of the work done by this group includes research leadership to find solutions to challenges in the promotion of walking or walking programmes, as well as facilitating / making connections between academics and relevant local connections and organisations. Examples of the work done to date to achieve these aims and objectives are listed below. As the group evolves, we anticipate that the aim will broaden to building evidence on the delivery of walking programmes and including other Paths for All initiatives.

About us

The collaborating group currently includes Paths for All staff, researchers and postgraduate students based at five Scottish higher education institutions, including: 

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • The University of Glasgow
  • The University of Highlands and Islands
  • The University of St Andrews
  • The University of Stirling

Some of the researchers also contribute to Paths for All as board members and blog writers (a selection of blog posts can be found at the bottom of this page).

When we meet 

Meetings take place online at least once a quarter, with more meetings taking place when projects are ongoing (although these tend to occur in subgroups), or as needed. We also encourage participation in flagship Scottish events related to physical activity, such as the annual Scottish Physical Activity Research Collaboration (SPARC) conference. 

Get involved

All work undertaken within this collaborating group is with a spirit of openness and inclusivity, and we invite anyone who wishes to know more about being involved to contact Carl Greenwood or complete the contact form below. 


  1. Niven A, Ainge JA, Allison M, Gorely T, Kelly P, Ozakinci G, Ryde GC, Tomaz SA, Warne S, Whiteford V and Greenwood C (2023) Building partnerships: A case study of physical activity researchers and practitioners collaborating to build evidence to inform the delivery of a workplace step count challenge. Front. Sports Act. Living 4:1067127. doi: 10.3389/fspor.2022.1067127
  2. Ryde GC, Tomaz SA, Sandison K, Greenwood C, Kelly P. Measuring Productivity, Perceived Stress and Work Engagement of a Nationally Delivered Workplace Step Count Challenge. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022 Feb 6;19(3):1843
  3. Niven A, Ryde GC, Wilkinson G, Greenwood C, Gorely T. The effectiveness of an annual nationally delivered workplace step count challenge on changing step counts: Findings from four years of delivery. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021 Jan;18(10):5140
  4. Kelly P, Baker G, Niven A, Cooper J, Hart N, Martin J, Strain T, Mutrie N. Barriers and Facilitators to Recreational Walking: An Evidence Review

Related Publications 

  1. Niven, A. G., & Strain, T. (2023). Domains matter: Cross-sectional associations between mental well-being and domain specific physical activity and sedentary behaviour in n=31,818 adults in Scotland. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 25, 100556

Contact Us

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