The Wellcome Trust

Wellcome is a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. It supports scientists and researchers, takes on big problems, fuels imaginations and sparks debate. Wellcome’s work is funded by an £18.3bn investment portfolio, which allows it to support over 14,000 people in more than 70 countries.

The problem

In early 2016 the Wellcome Trust were looking for a way to boost the activity levels of staff in their impressive London headquarters in a real, long-lasting way. Sam Conaghan, Health, Safety & Environment Manager at The Wellcome Trust said “We were looking for a way to encourage our staff to be more active and healthy at work, without disturbing their working day and hampering productivity.”

With over eight storeys of office space and multiple lifts, encouraging staff to use the stairs rather than the lift was an obvious next step. However, Wellcome was conscious that any solution needed to be data driven and able to provide detailed analysis of its effectiveness.

What happened?

In July 2016 StepJockey equipped Wellcome’s headquarters with a full range of smart stair prompts to nudge staff to take the stairs and ditch the lift. To measure the real effectiveness of the initiative, infrared people counters were installed within stairwells to measure baseline stair usage before signs were installed.

Results showed a significant and consistent 77% uplift in stair usage after the signs were installed.

Following the sign installation, Wellcome launched their first StepJockey Stair Climbing Challenge to further boost stair usage and drive up staff engagement. They launched StepJockey’s brand new Office Games Challenge which gets staff to take the stairs to burn the same number of calories as an Olympic athlete as they take on stadium based activities.

The results

More than 100 staff and 30 teams from across the building signed up to take part in the challenge and improve their health. In just four working weeks staff successfully completed the challenge taking almost 700,000 steps on their office stairs and burned 62,000 calories in the process.

Paul Nuki, StepJockey CEO said “The simplicity of stair climbing makes it very easy for everyone to seamlessly integrate it into their daily routine. This seems to have really resonated with staff as we’ve seen 15% engagement across the building, which is fantastic for a first time wellness initiative”.

Detailed reporting showed an impressive uplift in stair usage over the original baseline, with staff taking 97% more stair journeys during the challenge compared to pre-launch. The increase in stair use was also maintained post-challenge, with 20% more stair climbs being taken when compared to activity before StepJockey signage was installed.

Download the trial results

To gain objective insights into what the staff through of the challenge, players were asked to rate the initiative and give feedback via an online survey. Results showed 77% of people said they either ‘loved’ or ‘liked’ the challenge and more than 60% said they now use the stairs more frequently. One player that took part in the challenge remarked “It really got the team moving more and it made me realise that you can achieve so much with just a little extra effort.”   

Wellcome Survey Results

What the client said

We've been really impressed with the thorough and analytical way StepJockey has engaged our staff. It has been fantastic to see so many staff now using the stairs and having the hard data to back it up has been invaluable to reinforce the return on investment.

Sam Conaghan, Health, Safety & Environment Manager at Wellcome Trust
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