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  • Writer's pictureIeva Dilinikaityte

6 Reasons Why Office Steps Challenges Are Not Enough

Picture this: you’ve laced up your sneakers, smartphone in hand, ready to conquer the world, one step at a time. Your workplace wellness app has challenged you to reach 10,000 steps a day, promising a sense of accomplishment and a pat on the back. But, as you stride through your day, you can’t help but wonder—is this all there is to achieving a healthier lifestyle?

While step challenges have undoubtedly taken the corporate wellness world by storm, it’s time to pause and consider if we’re truly reaping all the benefits we deserve. In this blog post, we will unveil the hidden truth behind step challenges and explore why they might not be the ultimate solution to motivating us on our wellness journey. Let’s jump straight to it.

Reasons why you shouldn’t only focus on steps challenges

Reasons why you shouldn’t only focus on steps challenges

1. They get boring quickly

Step challenges, though popular, might lose their charm over time. Doing the same thing day in and day out can get a bit dull, don’t you think? We’re all individuals with diverse preferences and passions. While step challenges have their merits, they might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who enjoy yoga, strength training, dancing, or other sports. And here’s the catch: engagement takes a nosedive when something gets monotonous.

2. Lack of inclusivity

One size doesn’t fit all, especially when it comes to wellness. Solely focusing on step challenges might inadvertently exclude individuals who face unique physical challenges or health conditions. Did you know that nearly 27% of adults in the United States live with a disability? Embracing a more inclusive approach, such as introducing seated workouts or meditation practices, empowers all employees to participate actively in the wellness program, fostering a sense of belonging and well-being every step of the way.

3. Rewarding those who are fit already

Put yourself in the shoes of an employee who was just introduced to a walking challenge. If you’re active already, this challenge won’t change a thing in your life; you’ll just get rewarded for things you already do. On the other hand, if you’re more of a couch potato and walking isn’t your thing (maybe some other sport is?), you won’t get motivated to do something you don’t like by seeing leaderboards filled up with people who are running marathons on their free time.

4. Cookie-cutter approach

What pumps up John might leave Jane yawning, and that’s the magic of our uniqueness! Yet, the wellness world sometimes falls into a one-size-fits-all trap, assuming that what motivates one person will fire up everyone else. But hold on a minute — step challenges might not be everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, studies suggest that only a tiny percentage of the workforce finds step challenges genuinely enticing. To get more folks moving, it’s time to mix it up! From dancing to hiking, yoga to kickboxing, there are multiple diverse activities to add to your platform. Embracing variety ensures everyone finds their wellness groove, making the journey exciting and fulfilling for all.

5. They don’t actually help that much

In the whirlwind of daily work life, finding time for step challenges or even a brief stroll seems like a far-off dream, especially for office and online workers, spending long hours just staring at the screen. The sedentary nature of desk-bound jobs can have serious consequences, leading to musculoskeletal issues (MSKs). The thing is, step challenges won’t really help employees change their habits. Especially during work time — even if employees manage to fit in a quick stroll, it won’t have that much effect, as, for example, active breaks during work. That is why stretches, mobility exercises, and other fitness-related challenges are necessary to create a diverse program that makes a difference.

6. External Barriers

Ah, Mother Nature, an unpredictable companion on our wellness journey. External barriers like extreme weather conditions can dampen our spirits, making step challenges seem daunting or even impossible. Diversifying our wellness initiatives ensures that employees have an array of activities to choose from, regardless of the weather’s mood swings. Indoor workouts or additional mindfulness practices will make sure employees have a reason to open your app, rain or shine.

So, what’s there else to do? Anything! Fitness challenges, on-demand fitness videos, mindfulness, or breathing techniques. If your app is focused on making people move more and living more healthily, why not add on-demand videos to foster healthy breaks during sedentary work? Even better, you can add an AI virtual trainer to see who actually did the workout, offer hyper-personalization, and triple user engagement.

Interested in learning more? Read about how virtual trainers are changing the market for corporate wellness apps here.

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