National Steps Challenge to step up on targets

A fourth National Steps Challenge is in the works, with a focus on taking things to the next level.

With participation rates steadily climbing each season, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) hopes to encourage participants to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity in the next season.

The challenge to date has been about getting people to be physically active and encouraging them to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. Participants are given a pedometer to help them keep track.

The third season, which ends tomorrow, has drawn about 690,000 sign-ups, almost double the previous season's figure of over 350,000.

Furthermore, a community challenge, a third season initiative, raised a total of $143,000 for the President's Challenge 2018.

The community challenge, which drew 48,000 sign-ups, saw participants' steps being converted into donations for 59 beneficiaries of the President's Challenge, including the Care Community Services Society and the Association for Persons with Special Needs.

The cheque was presented to President Halimah Yacob at the community challenge finale yesterday at Sentosa Palawan Beach.

HPB chief executive officer Zee Yoong Kang said the National Steps Challenge had provided an opportunity for Singaporeans to contribute to a good cause.

Over 1,000 turned up at the event yesterday, with many participants saying they were looking forward to the new season.

Mr Asyraf Mustafa, 28, said he initially joined the challenge to encourage his ageing parents to live a healthier lifestyle.

"Last time, they weren't very active. But now, they're the ones encouraging me to go out for a walk," he said with a laugh, adding that he hopes to encourage his friends to join as well in the next season.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 29, 2018, with the headline 'National Steps Challenge to step up on targets'. Print Edition | Subscribe