Paths for All

Physical Activity Challenge


Step Count Challenge is an initiative led by Paths for All (PfA), a Scottish Government funded organisation. The main objective for PfA is to reduce the proportion of the population who are physically inactive through a national walking programme, by promoting and sharing news of the number, quality and accessibility of walking paths across Scotland.

Paths for All launched the popular Step Count Challenge in 2011 - an annual workplace walking challenge - the aim of which is to encourage more people to walk more and feel the benefits. Organisations are encouraged to form an internal team and sign up. Participants are then provided with a personal pedometer which they must use every day to record daily steps and track their progress on a leader board against other competing teams. Step Count set the goals and at the end of the 8 week challenge there is a special prize draw for the Team Captains.

Since its inception, thousands of people have taken part in the challenge from workplaces across Scotland.

The Challenge

Step Count did not have a strong digital presence. Participants were encouraged to sign up teams through traditional media packs sent to them through the post, record and log their pedometer readings manually and email team stat updates to the Step Count Challenge HQ. 

In order to encourage more participants to take part in the challenge, it was essential that Step Count could offer a digital way for people to sign up and take part, including an online option to record team results throughout the challenge lifetime.

Storm were appointed in November 2013 to redesign and develop the Step Count website, taking into consideration all of the desired technical functionality and requirements that a participant might need and want to use.

Storm Health has been an excellent partner and we have greatly valued their passion and expertise in helping us to deliver our aim of a happier, healthier more active Scotland.

Carl Greenwood, Paths for All

The Solution

Stage 1 - A pilot was run in January 2014, during which specifically selected participants were asked to take part. Following this a focus group was held to gather their feedback to inform the development of the live challenge platform that was set to run in April 2014.

Stage 2 - A marketing WordPress website was built, the purpose of which was to promote the challenge to potential participants through simple content, allowing a clear route to sign up and more importantly make payments online. Payments previously had to be taken over the phone or via email. Storm Health ensured payment integration on the new website with Stripe, a payment infrastructure which enables users to make payments online and in mobile apps.

Stage 3 - Once the marketing site had been agreed and finalised, Storm began redeveloping the Challenge website based on the Pilot run feedback - through which participants could log in, create a profile and record their activity on a daily and weekly basis.

Key technical requirements were around the gamification of activity results by displaying their activity in a leader board. Numbers are turned into graphs using a High Charts plugin and a bespoke calendar views, making it easier for participants to see and realise their efforts and achievements.

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The Results

Storm Health also developed a dynamic activity conversion tool which allows participants to view the number of miles they may have jogged or meters they swam into an equivalent number of steps, allowing particpants to record and allocate their choice of fitness activity towards the overall challenge.

The marketing site was launched on the 31st of March in order to promote the challenge and inform and educate potential participants. This launch date allowed plenty of time for participants to enrol, register their teams and receive their pedometers, in time for the challenge to commence on the 28th of April.

The Challenge site was launched on April 22nd - on which participants could track their success against competing teams. So far since Step Counts’ digital revolution - there has been a 40% uptake on participants compared to last year and the amount of steps taken by users has doubled - reaching 884 million steps, that’s nearly 500,000 miles or the distance to the moon and back!

Carl Greenwood from Paths for All commented that "the Step Count Challenge platform is an effective behavioural change tool that has helped thousands of participants increase their levels of physical activity".

Storm Health are now supporting Paths for All to develop the platform into a Multiple Challenge Platform to enable participants to take part in a variety of different challenges throughout the year.