Create your virtual journey
Creating a virtual journey is an effective and easy way to keep your team focused and motivated on the challenge. You’ll be amazed how far you can walk by adding your team’s steps together and plotting them on a map. Here’s our guide to creating a virtual journey.
- Decide how far you’re going to walk. You’ll need to work out a realistic target for the 8 weeks. Use your pedometer to work out roughly how far your team walks in a day (remember you can also include weekends). To do this, record your step counts over 3 days. Add the 3 numbers up and divide by 3 and round up to the nearest 500. For example, if I walked 3,578 steps on Thursday, 4,527 on Friday and 9,872 on Saturday my total would be 17,977 making my average daily step count 5,992 and rounded up to the nearest 500 this would be 6,000. For the purposes of the challenge we’re saying that 1 mile is around 2,000 steps, give or take. Working on the average of 6,000 steps a day I’d be walking approximately 3 miles each day. Using this information you should be able to work out how many miles each team member could cover over the 8 weeks. You might want to increase the target slightly to motivate you to find ways of walking more, but keep it realistic!
- “To infinity, and beyond!” The destination is up to you. It might be work related, if your company is national you may want to work out a route that stops off at a number of office locations. You might want to go international and visit some tourist hotspots. You might want to have a topical theme linking with a national event like the Commonwealth Games back in 2014. Last year, our office walked some of Scotland’s famous long distance trails including the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way.
- Map Your Route. There are a number of websites you can use to work out distances such as Google Maps, BikeHike and WalkIt
- Chart Your Progress. Think about how you could chart your progress. You could pin a route map to the office notice board or send your team a short email update each week. This is a good way to keep staff motivated and to spur them on to keep walking. We stuck a map of Scotland to our notice board and photographed it for our weekly updates. We also shared our step counts, which created a bit of healthy competition!
- Celebrate Milestones. Celebrate reaching significant milestones, like reaching 100 miles, or a particular destination. You could buy some little prizes, or perhaps have a nice lunch. You could write something for your staff newsletter or even send an article in to your local paper
Case Study – Paths for All’s 500 Mile Ghost Walk
For the 2014 Autumn Step Count Challenge, five teams consisting of staff and directors went on a virtual ghost walk around Scotland. Starting in the Borders the route covered 500 miles visiting 17 of the most haunted locations in Scotland.
The route was then mapped using Google Maps:
Alongside our online map a paper map was stuck up on our notice board and each week the team’s progress was plotted on the map. Each team was given a marker, in this case a character from Scooby Doo, it was a ghost walk after all and a summary email was circulated to the teams with an update on their location and collective steps.
This was a relatively simple exercise but helped to keep the teams on track and having the map on the office noticeboard was a helpful reminder to keep walking and created just a little competition and all the teams managed to complete the challenge.