When the California State Teachers' Retirement System ran one of StepJockey's stair climbing challenges in its eighteen-storey building in Sacramento, executives were taken back by just how popular it proved to be among staff.

Employees worked together to burn the equivalent calories it would take a team to climb Mount Everest. In less than a month, CalSTRS burned more than 170,000 calories using the stairs. More than a quarter of the workforce took part and - perhaps most important of all - 80% said they felt healthier as a result in a follow up survey.

Sean Carrington, CalSTRS Employee Engagement Manager, understands the power of group dynamics and was eager to test out the StepJockey platform as a means of encouraging physical activity within the workplace.

"StepJockey offers us an engaging health challenge that doesn’t interfere with the workday. The challenge was extremely popular amongst our staff", he said.

In office and out

Over 25% of employees collaborated to complete the four-week health challenge. As well as taking the stairs during work hours, participants also found new opportunities to build physical activity into the day, with many climbing stairs at their homes and in public spaces before and after work. They used StepJockey's free paper smart signs to record these climbs.

Carrington said: "We have been absolutely thrilled with the results. It's certainly one of the best things we've done. We had many reports of weight loss and overall well-being. In addition to the obvious health benefits of stair climbing, a bonus for us was the social aspect of the platform. People loved creating a profile, embraced the formation of teams and enjoyed watching organizational performance in real time".

Stepping up again

Following the success of their first challenge, CalSTRS returned to take on a new stair climbing feat. Second time around they selected the World Towers Challenge, a chance to climb eight of the tallest towers in the world from the comfort of their own office.

Once the challenge was announced it quickly built momentum with staff and soon over 50 teams were signed up and 203 players participating from across the organisation.

In just four weeks staff collectively took an incredible 2.3 million steps on the stairs and burned 232,000 calories. That’s over 60,000 more calories burned by staff compared to their first challenge! In fact, staff enjoyed the challenge so much that 95% of them said they would love to take part in another challenge.

Easy to run and launch

StepJockey’s gamification system allows organisations to launch stair climbing challenges at any time. Signing-up is simple, and participants score points for themselves and their teams by recording their stair use with the free StepJockey mobile apps.

The system is designed specifically to provide HR and wellness executives with a solution that appeals to the broadest possible audience within their business. It does so by overcoming three of the key barriers known to put staff off taking part in traditional wellness programmes: limited time, poor physical skills and self-consciousness about exercising in front of others.

Everyman, not ironman

"Stair climbing can be built into the working day and saves you time, rather than eating into it", said Helen Nuki, co-founder of StepJockey. "It also does not require any special skills or force you to perform in front of others. It's these factors that explain why it has such a broad appeal".

StepJockey’s gamification platform is unique, allowing players to interact through their mobile apps with buildings they work in. Matt Ville, Head of Development, said: "Our stair climbing challenges are pervasive gaming at its best. We've developed a unique platform that lets employees use smart technology to interact with their physical space. The world is a gym and our system helps people see it like that".

An engaging health challenge that doesn’t interfere with the workday. The challenge was extremely popular amongst our staff

Sean Carrington, CalSTRS Employee Engagement Manager

A stair climbing revolution

Since launch StepJockey has rated more than 8,000 stairways for calorie-burn, encouraging people across the world to take to the stairs to kick start physical activity. StepJockey’s health-promoting Smart Signs and gamification platform are widely used by large corporates and organisations including Proctor & Gamble, Deloitte, NHS, Lloyds of London, Legal and General, Public Health England and KPMG.

StepJockey offers a range of Challenge packages for organisations of all size, and the company has now run more than 40 stair climbing Challenges internationally. The Challenges have been shown to increase stair usage up to 800%, and in trials, 92% of those who took part in a challenge said they felt that stair climbing would become a habit.

To find out more about how StepJockey can help you create a culture of lasting healthy habits at work contact the team today at 0203 397 8377.

Other case studies

Great companies we work with