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You are here: Home >>  Taking Action >>  Walking >>  Pedometers and Walking Challenges

Pedometers and Walking Challenges

In line with the National Walking Strategy (NWS), the Scottish Government is keen to create a culture of walking where everyone walks more often as part of their everyday travel and for recreation and well being. 

Walking can be challenging!



Worn on the hip, pedometers are little gadgets that count your steps and indicate how active you are throughout the day. Pedometers are ideal to use in workplaces to help encourage colleagues to be more active. It can even lead to some healthy competition.

You’ll find you can become more than a little obsessed with counting steps and trying to do just a little bit more than the day before. Pedometers are great motivation and wearing one is a handy reminder to leave your desk and stretch your legs.

Pedometers are a great motivational tool to use. They sense walking motion and count the number of steps a person takes. Most pedometers also calculate the distance walked and the number of calories burned. Expensive versions have many more functions.

The Coordinator can use pedometers to challenge people to compete with one another over how far they walk, or they can challenge indviduals to reach increasing personal targets. The organisation might want to consider rewarding those who reach the greatest number of steps or pass a certain target. The type of challenges set need only be limited by the Coordinator's imagination!

There are numerous types of pedometer in all shapes, sizes and prices.

The Paths for All Pedometer Pack contains a pedometer, walker's guide & diary and structured 12-week walking programme - an ideal way to get walking, and keep walking.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has also developed a Pedometer Challenge which attempts to encourage people to take 10,000 steps per day.


Walking Challenges  

Individual or team physical activity challenges are a great way to engage employees and encourage to become more active.  There are a number of walking related challenges that might be suitable for your organisation and employees. 

Walk at Work Step Count Challenge - Organised by Paths for All, The Step Count Challenge is a workplace walking challenge aimed at getting people to walk more and feel the difference. To find out more about the spring challenge and autumn challenges and to register visit

BFH Pedometer Challenge  - The British Heart Foundation also offers a number of other physical activity challeneges. The Health at Work programme aims to inspire and support health and wellbeing in the workplace.  Visit the website for more details. 

Other walking initiatives 

Big Fit Walk - It's the biggest short walk of the year! The Big Fit Walk aims to inspire communities across Scotland to come together for a short walk to celebrate the benefits of being active. We provide Health Walk groups, community groups, workplaces, schools and others with free resources to organise a 30 minute local led walk during June. For further details visit

Health Walks  - Run across Scotland, Paths for All support a network of community Health Walk projects that organise free group walks every week. These are short, safe, social, fun, accessible, low level walks led by trained volunteers. Anyone can come along to a Health Walk and new walkers are always welcome.


Walking related apps for Smartphones 

There are a huge range of walking related smartphone apps available to download.  Paths for All provide a really useful breakdown of many of the walking related apps that are currently available. 

The British Heart Foundation website is another useful resource which list free smartphone walking related apps. 

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