Members of a Local Heart Charity Walk to Everest!

The British Heart Foundation tells is that In Wales today, 375,000 people live with Cardio Vascular Disease and at least 32,500 of those have heart failure. The North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity are helping to buck this trend by providing long term cardiac rehabilitation in the community.

In partnership with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s Cardiac Rehab Team the Charity has been providing exercise classes in Usk, Monmouth, Abergavenny, Ebbw Vale, Tredegar and Abertillery for the last 25 years. Unfortunately, in March due to the Covid 19 restrictions. the classes had to stop. Keeping in contact with class members, many of whom are elderly, is a priority for our Cardiac Rehabilitation Fitness Instructors. They ring members every week offering support and advice on how to keep healthy and when possible inviting them to join one of our new walking groups.

Inspired by the founder of ‘World Walking’ Duncan Galbraith, whose cardiac rehab group the Inverclyde Globetrotters walked to the moon, our walkers put their heart and legs to the test and took part in the 'Everest Cardiac Challenge'. A virtual walk of 6,879 miles across 20 countries the Everest Cardiac Challenge started on the 17th August from Nevill Hall Hospital Abergavenny and successfully reached Everest Base Camp on the 17th October. Our walkers must be congratulated for reaching the destination spot on time whilst experiencing poor weather, social distancing and wearing face masks. Along with motivating people to keep fit the Challenge also raised £4000 with all monies going to keep long-term cardiac rehabilitation in North Gwent. An amazing collective effort from all walkers and supporters.

Covid 19 has changed our lives greatly. However, with imagination, support and resilience this charity along with the Health Boards Cardiac Rehab Team has found a way to keep their members exercising, maintaining fitness and keeping in touch with friends. Never so important as now.

 ‘There are not many cardiac rehabilitation groups that will be able to say they travelled from the valley of the cardiac ward to the top of the world. What inspiration your group will give others’.  Duncan Galbraith, Founder of World Walking. 


Dr Jacqueline Miles MBE, PhD, BSc (Hons), RGN.

Founder and Trustee

North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity 

The idea for Miles in Their Shoes first came about when a fundraising ambassador of ours gave me a call and explained that they were planning on virtually travelling the distance from Wakefield to Kampala with their staff team. They’d recently completed a walking challenge but wanted to create something that would help their team’s wellbeing during COVID-19. They worked at a school, and were working incredibly hard to create resources and online classes for their pupils and needed something fun to do outside of hours that kept a focus on staff’s wellbeing.

As soon as she told me, I was keen to see how we could adapt this for our charity. We had a few fundraising events that were no longer able to go ahead, and we wanted to provide something that aided loneliness, gave people an excuse to get outside and exercise, and to give our supporters an idea of what it might be like to be a child living in the slums of Uganda.

We had the skeleton of the idea planned, and we then started approaching different mile tracking apps to see if they could help. Our intern Holly did some research and found World Walking, and we really loved the functionality of the website. We saw that they were also a charity and decided to give World Walking a call. 

Once World Walking had explained the aims of the app to me, and the fact that they could use the app to build us a custom route, I started to get very excited. For the next few days we went back and forth deciding how the app could work, and World Walking was so brilliant at putting the route together for us, along with all the milestones that would inform our supporters about what it’s like for a child living in Uganda along the way.

Within two weeks, we managed to take the idea from the ideation phase into launch, thanks to the hard work of World Walking and our very small staff team at Kids Club Kampala. We were able to recruit 109 fundraisers, including the original staff team that our fundraising ambassador pulled together from her school. We made sure to welcome everyone to Kids Club Kampala through a welcome zoom call, and then they were off!

Groups used the World Walking chat function and What’s App to update their teams on their progress and send pictures of them (and usually their furry friends!) on their walks, cycles and runs. Each time a group reached a milestone they were emailed with an update on a particular project and the tangible difference their fundraising is making to vulnerable children.

The challenge lasted for ten weeks, and we managed to raise over £13,000! We have received brilliant feedback from all who were involved, and we made so many new connections with people along the way. 

A really huge thank you to World Walking for pulling this all together for us, at a time of great need when we were cancelling all our fundraising events! We are thrilled to still have the Miles in Their Shoes walking route on the World Walking website and app, and you can now donate to Kids Club Kampala through the World Walking website too!

Jo Black

Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Kids Club Kampala

12 October 2020 - That Was Quite A Day!

7.30 AM: Monday, 12 October 2020 began much like any other day. Up early, answering the handful of questions and inquiries that had arrived overnight from users around the world.

We'd been looking forward to getting cracking. We had a new walk to publicise - a 1,000 mile journey around the vast US state of Arizona - and a user to thank for suggesting this new route. We'd been working on it on and off for a few weeks; working out the milestones, choosing and buying new images, and writing the descriptions for each place along the way. At 10.00 we were ready to publish:

Job done! It was already a good day.

2.00 PM: And we had something else to look forward to. Last week, we'd received an email from Angela Griffiths, Corporate and Community Manager, at 'Once Upon A Smile', a children's bereavement charity in Manchester, inquiring if we could help them with a virtual walking challenge to raise much needed funds in the run up to Christmas and a Zoom call had been arranged for this afternoon. It was great speaking with Angela about the work of this inspiring charity and we agreed that, between us, we'd to try and create a new virtual route round Manchester for their donors and supporters to use. 


3.00 PM: During the Zoom call with Angela, an email arrived from Sylvia Howie asking for a little advice and, as it is always good to talk, a phone call ensued. It turns out that Sylvia is the Live Active Advisor for Springburn in Glasgow, a few miles away from our base in Greenock. She’s also a super-enthusiastic World Walker who has been making good use of World Walking to help the people who have been referred to her from the local health service to stay active and connected while all gyms have been closed and volunteer-led health walks stopped because of COVID-19. 

World Walking was inspired by the efforts of the Inverclyde Globetrotters, another Live Active Exercise Referral group based at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Gym, and it was brilliant to learn that similar group was following in their footsteps; quite literally, as, spookily, Sylvia’s Springburn + Maryhill Live Active Referrals Walking Team is tackling our 9,300 mile long ‘Walk the Med’ route just as the Inverclyde Globetrotters are doing at this very minute! 

6.00 PM: Just sitting down for a bite to eat when another email pops up; this time from 3,000 miles away in Maryland, USA and it’s from a very unexpected source, Tracy Cooper on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians.  The National Congress is planning a virtual health challenge to be held in conjunction with their 77th Annual Convention in November. They are interested in using World World Walking and would like to speak with someone.

So at 8.50 PM we’re happily back on Zoom meeting up with Tracy and having a great old time hatching an action plan to make this happen, hopefully, complete with a bespoke route.


Feet up, watching TV and chilling out. Thinking that the day could not have been better. - then.

10.45 PM: Another email pings in from across the Atlantic; this time from Christy Phillips, VP for Resident Engagement at Atria Senior Living.


Remaining physically active is one of the pillars of resident engagement at Atria and Christy and her team are using World Walking to support their ‘Atria Go Together! Walking Challenge’, the first step in a three-part program to promote physical activity among residents living in their communities across the USA. It’s early days, just the start of Week 2, but some of their communities are really embracing it and Christy wanted to share an inspirational video posted on one of their community’s local Facebook page. Way to go Tanglewood, Long Island, New York!


And there you have it. The end to a perfect day in the life of World Walking.  A day only made possible because a group of people living with heart health issues in Inverclyde, Scotland, decided to go for a walk way back in 2008.

Happy Walking.  Take care and stay safe.

Where has the time gone?

It seems like only yesterday that we quietly launched World Walking. 

'Simply to motivate people to walk more for health & happiness', that's why we decided to offer World Walking as a free resource, available to use by anyone, anywhere, anytime. Since we launched in October 2013 our online community has grown daily and here we are; 7 years old and still doing what we can with what we have.

We are grateful to everyone who has helped us stay the course; 

  • The organisations which have funded us to help pay our bills;
  • Our wonderful donors who give what they can;
  • The terrific and kind-hearted design and development team of Chris, David, Fergus and Michael based in Glasgow; and 
  • Everyone who has walked the world with us to keep our dream alive.

And this is the result:

Thank you all.  Keep walking with us. It's great to have your company.

Our 2020/21 Mid-Year Results

The last six months have been unprecendented as the world reels from the devastating impact of COVID-19.

As people searched for ways to safely stay active and connected and charities looked for new ways to raise funds, we've experienced the fastest period of growth in our seven-year history.  We are delighted to have been of value to so many individuals and groups but wish this increase in activity had not been driven by this terrible pandemic.

Take care and stay safe.

Hike the Highlands from Home

Highland Green Health Partnership Initiative

This project is helping to make more use of Scotland’s outdoors as Our Natural Health Service. 


The Hike the Highlands from Home initiative is open to everyone.

World Walking

For this initiative we are using World Walking which was developed by a Scottish charity and which allows you to use the distances you walk in the real world to complete imaginary (virtual) walks.  For our Hike the Highlands from Home initiative, we have created 4 virtual walks to showcase our beautiful area.

World Walking's many features include:

  • Everyone’s welcome: Go it alone or create your own group - easily!
  • Easy to use: Create your own unique login.
  • Track your progress:  Anytime you wish.  See what milestones you’ve reached, how many steps you’ve taken.  
  • Gain awards:  There are 20 Awards, a special ‘Think Nature’ award, to unlock!  The more you walk, the more you receive.

Signing up to take part

If you would like to take part in the Hike the Highlands from Home initiative, please use the special landing page which we've created to register (if you are new to World Walking) or login (if you have already created an account on World Walking). You will find the landing page at: worldwalking.org/thinknature 

Once you have registered or logged in using the landing page (use the Registration Section below the main image not the menu at the top of the page) all of the distances you subsequently add to World Walking will be included automatically to the dynamic total distance displayed on the landing page of the miles walked by all the individuals and groups taking part in our Hike the Highlands from Home initiative.

Although you do not need to do so, we recommend you use the Quick Links on the landing page to:

  • Create a group
  • Search for other groups taking part in Hike the Highlands from Home initiative
  • Start a new virtual walk
  • Add (bank) the distances which you or your group walk
  • Use (spend) the distances you have banked to help complete your virtual walk.

Apart from anything else, the landing page will let you see at a glance how many steps have been walked by everyone taking part.

Once you have registered to take part getting started is pretty straightforward. If you need help, have a look in the World Walking ‘Help’ section (there is a ‘Help’ tab at the bottom of each page on World Walking). If you don’t find what you need just click the ‘Get in touch’ button and we’ll get you sorted out.

Getting Started

Step 1: Create a group for your service/team using the Quick Link on the landing page titled - "Create a group"

You can set up your group so that anyone can join it or so that people need to be invited to join.

Step 2: Start a walk for you or your group using the Quick Link on the landing page titled - "Start a new walk"

Step 3: Ask all your friends, family and colleagues to:

  1. Register to use World Walking using the landing page to register (or login if they already have a World Walking account).
  2. Join your group
  3. Start your group's walk

Helpful tips:

  • World Walking allows users to enter an optional display name will be shown in place of their own name on the website.
  • To start your group's chosen walk just click on 'My Walks'. You will see that your group has a walk available. You just need to click it to join.

Adding the distances you walk or cycle or run

To log the distance you have walked to help complete your chosen virtual walk you need to deposit your distance in your World Walking 'bank' and then 'spend' the distance you have 'banked' on your walk.

We have included a Quick Link on the landing page for you to use to 'Add your distance (bank)'.  

You can 'spend' the distance you have 'banked' anytime. You will find another Quick Link on the landing page labelled 'Spend distance on a walk' which allows you to do that.

Editing your group details

To edit your group details e.g. to change the status of your group to 'invite only', open your 'group' page and then click on the down arrow at the right-hand side of the menu bar on your group page.

Select the 'edit group' option from the short drop-down menu that appears.

Setting your default unit of distance

With World Walking users can enter their distances in steps, kilometers or miles.

To help you enter your distance correctly you can set a default unit of distance. To do this click on 'settings' on the menu on your dashboard (your homepage) and select the value you prefer to use when entering the distance you walk.

What if you enter the wrong number of steps?

We all make mistakes - it happens to the best of us. Don’t worry. You can delete (or undo) distance from your ‘bank’ as long as:

  • You haven't spent the distance on a walk, or you have enough steps in your bank to delete the banked distance.
  • The distance was manually added and not automatically pulled in through a wearable device e.g. your Fitbit.
  • The distance was recently added (at most 1 month ago) and shows in the "Recent Activity" when you click the ‘Add Steps’ button.

Here is a link to an article in our 'Help' section which explains how to do this: https://worldwalking.org/help/article/1822/how-do-i-delete-distance-from-my-bank

If you are unsure of anything connected with using World Walking, please contact [email protected]  They will be very pleased to help.

Many feet will make light work of hiking the Highlands from home.

Thank you all for taking part.  Let’s go for it!

2020- 21 Looks like being a year like no other in the short life of World Walking so we thought we'd keep a note so we could look back on the year that was in the hope that by this time next year we are 'back to normal', whatever that is.

So here goes. 

1 April 2020:  This new financial year begins with our little charity, like the rest of the world, facing the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2019/20 has just ended with the following results:

1 April: Published new walk - Here for Each Other - to support the #HereForEachOther campaign organised by the East and North Hertfordshire Hospitals' Charity to support local NHS staff as they respond to the unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.

12 April: Published new walk - USA: North to South.

13 April: Published new walk - Cardiff.

19 April: Published new walk - Israel.

20 April: Published  new walk - The Eirias Rainbow Walk - to support the work of the NHS in North Wales during COVID-19.

20 April: Published new walk - Move for Meals - in support of the charity, Mary's Meals, in conjunction with the charity's office in Germany.

27 April: Published new walk - Land's End to John o'Groats.

29 April: Became the first and, so far, only walking app to achieve the ORCHA quality mark badge:

30 April: The end of a month of unprecedented activity on World walking with 6,680 new user accounts created and 1.5 billion steps/634,000 miles logged by our users; the equivalent of them having walked 25 times round the world. More 'help' inquiries from users than normal which you would expect when you have 6 months worth of new users in the space of just one month. Nothing we, and World Walking, couldn't handle. 

1 May: 19,000 walks now completed by our users; up 1,000 since 1 April 2020, the biggest monthly increase ever.

1 May: Published new walk - CHAS Walk for Wellness - for the charity Children's Hospices Across Scotland for Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May).

10 May: Published new walk - Cyprus.

11 May: 50,000 virtual walks started on World Walking since our launch in October 2013.

18 May: Published new walk - Great Wall on China (East)

19 May: Our magnificent World Walking users reach the milestone of having walked 12.5 million miles - 500 times round the world.

19 May: 1,000 virtual walks started in the last week!

22 May: 10,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020.

25 May:  60,000 users worldwide!

28 May:  Guest Blog from World Walking published by America Walks

28 May:  20,000 walks now completed by our users; up 1,000 since 1 May 2020.

 1 June:  30 billion steps recorded!

5 June: 12,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020 (just 9 weeks) - the same number as in the whole of 2019/20!

16 June: 13 million miles now clocked up by our amazing World Walkers since our launch in October 2013.

17 June: Our amazing World Walkers walk 60 times round the world in (less than) 80 days!

30 June: Today marks the end of the first quarter of 2020/21. Here are the World Walking results for the quarter:

  • Over 14,800 new user accounts created;
  • Over 4.1 billion steps recorded (1.7 million miles, equivalent to 70 times round the world);
  • Over 3,100 virtual walks completed.

1 July: Delighted to be supporting Highland Green Health Parnership's 'Think Health Think Nature' initiative with Hike the Highland's from Home.

17 July: Our new fundraising feature launched quietly today. Beta testing begins. Our 'one-stop shop', complete with public fundraising page, will allow our users to help others while staying active.  No idea if this will fly but we are so happy to be giving it a go!

7 August: 14 million miles now clocked up by our amazing World Walkers since our launch in October 2013.

8 August: Our growing community of World Walkers walked the equivalent of 100 times round the world (2.5 million miles) in just 104 days!  Awesome! 

13 August: Delighted to announce that World Walking can connect to Google Fit and bank all steps recorded on the Google Fit app.

18 August: Over 20,000 new user accounts created since 1 April 2020.

23 August: 70,000 user accounts created worldwide.

21 September: 35 billion steps now recorded on World Walking. 

27 September: Our first universary collaboration - the Keele Sustainability Challenge.

1 October: Happy Birthday!  World Walking celebrates its 7th birthday today. We wish to thank everyone who has made this possible; 

  • Chris Baldie, David Rushton, Fergus Howe and Michael Park, the digital design geniouses who created World Walking for us; 
  • All those who have supported us with encouragement and financial support; and 
  • The inspirational Inverclyde Globetrotters, without whose remarkable efforts, World Walking would not exist.

When we launched our free website/app back in October 2013 we had no idea if anyone would use it. We simply wanted to help motivate people to walk more for health and happiness.  Seven years on, here is the result:

1 October:  Our Mid-Year results for 2020-21. Happy days!:

9 October: Delighted to be supporting the Inverclyde Community Fund's virtual Inverclyde Stride 2020 

11 October:  25,000 virtual walks completed!  

17 October: The North Gwent Cardiac Rehabilitation and Aftercare Charity complete their Everest Cardiac Challenge - 16 million steps/6,879 miles from Abergavenny  to the top of the world in just 66 days. Awesome!

18 October: 4 million miles clocked up since 1 April 2020.

27 October: 10 billion steps added since 1 April 2020.

2 November: 16 million miles clocked up on World Walking since October 2013!

5 November: 26,000 walks now completed by our amazing World Walkers.

8 November: 80,000 user accounts created since October 2013; up 30,000 since 1 April 2020

22 November: Another milestone - the first £1,000 raised for charity using our new integrated fundraising feature.


2019 - 20: Another Successful Year for World Walking

Our tiny Scottish charity is delighted to have made it through another financial year.

We thought we'd share with you how 2019 -20 finished. We're well chuffed. Thanks to all our users for supporting what we're trying to do. We hope World Walking has helped motivate you to walk more than you would otherwise have done and that you've had fun exploring our amazing world; even if only virtually!.

Our financial year ended with the world struggling to contain the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are suffering at the present time and for all of the frontline staff who are fighting to care for all those who need help in these worrying times.  As people abided by social distancing rules and stayed at home to prevent the spread of the disease, we saw a big increase in the number of new user accounts being created - over 2,100 in March 2020 - as they sought out other ways to help them stay active and stay safe. 

Here are our key results for the year:


We're 100% committed to keeping World Walking free for everyone to use. We can't do that on our own so we'd like to say a huge thanks to those of you who have so kindly supported us with donations during the year. We're also very grateful to Inverclyde Council for awarding us another grant to help keep World Walking going and to the Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership and CVS Inverclyde for their support and encouragement.

And last, but certainly not least, the brilliant - and patient - digital design and development team of Chris and David (at Papertank), Fergus (Mayday Development Ltd) and Michael (Turing Limited), without whom there would be no World Walking. Thanks guys. You're the best.

Happy Walking

Take care and stay healthy.

Kindest Regards

Duncan

Founder- World Walking

Background 

The Inverclyde Globetrotters were formed in February 2008 from a Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation class at Inverclyde Leisure’s Waterfront Gym, Greenock, when, armed with only a map and some pedometers, they set off to try to walk virtually round the world to promote the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation. 

Aim 

The aim was to encourage members to stay active between classes and accrue the health benefits that come from more walking and less sitting. 

Methods 

A simple A4 record sheet was used to record the steps walked during the past week and the distances walked, cycled and rowed during the hour-long weekly gym class. 

Results/Findings 

In May 2010, after 117 weeks ‘on the road’, the Inverclyde Globetrotters arrived back in Greenock having clocked up 30,688 miles. They kept walking. 

On 14 May 2019, the members, mostly in their 70s and 80s, ‘landed softly’ on the Moon to complete a 238,855-mile mission lasting 11 years, 3 months and 10 days. They clocked up their miles walking virtually across every continent, ‘‘visiting’ over 100 countries worldwide. 

Their efforts inspired the creation of World Walking, a free website/app developed to motivate people to walk more, whose users, from Australia to Wales, have recorded over 11 million miles (25 billion steps). 

World Walking led to the development of: 

  • The online Active Staff walking challenges of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; 
  • Big Team Challenge for online walking/cycling challenges; and 
  • Critter Quest, a fun interactive game for the Royal Hospital for Children at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow that rewards physical activity specific to each child. 

Along the way, the Inverclyde Globetrotters launched and successfully completed: 

Conclusion 

With a sense of fun and adventure a small group of people with long-term health conditions can help get the world walking.

Our good friends at the cardiac rehabilitation team at the University Hospital Hairmyres in Lanarkshire, Scotland, finished the last decade on a bit of a high by completing their ‘Winter Wonderland Walk’ to Lapland.

And without missing a step (or a heart beat), the patients and staff are off again on their travels. They’ve decided to celebrate this new decade by tackling their longest challenge yet - World Walking’s epic ‘United States of America walk through all 48 contiguous states from Washington State on the west coast all the way to the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington DC.

The team has set their sights on walking all 31.5 million steps in time to mark World Heart Day on 29 September 2020 and to promote the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehabilitation nurse specialist, Faye McSpurren said:

“ Our staff and patients enjoyed and benefited so much from the previous walks that there has been no hesitation in our group ‘stepping’ up to the plate to tackle another challenge. The sense of community has been fantastic and the shared goals have helped all participants work toward achieving the next ‘step’ and improving their health and lifestyle during the process.”

World Heart Day is an annual global campaign by the World Heart Federation to encourage individuals, families, communities, and governments around the world to participate in activities to take charge of their heart health and that of others. The Hairmyres cardiac team began supporting World Heart Day back in 2017 when they took part in World Walking’s ‘Walk Europe’ initiative. They also participated in our ‘Billion Steps for Health’ campaign for World Heart Day 2018. 

And now in 2020 they’re striding out on their own to fly the flag for Scotland in this global campaign.  Why not follow their lead and use World Walking to create your own walking event for World Heart Day 2020. Nearer the day, you’ll be able to add the details of your event to the World Heart Federation’s spinning globe to let everyone know how you celebrated this day.

With a new decade fast approaching, we would to thank everyone who has supported and used World Walking in 2019. Our little volunteer-led Scottish charity has never had a plan as such, just a desire to do what we can with what we have, to help motivate people to walk more for health and happiness.

That we are now in our seventh year, amazes us and makes us very thankful and we look forward, as we always do, to the New Year and our first new decade with a continuing sense of optimism that something good lies just round the next bend in the road.

Our hopes and dreams for 2020 are that by the end of the year 50,000 people will have created user accounts and that our World Walkers will:

  • have amassed 30 billion steps; and 
  • completed 20,000 walks.
We are setting our stall out to have increased our library of ready-to-use virtual walks to 300 by this time next year and are looking forward, excitedly, to launching a couple of new initiatives in 2020:

  • a new feature which will allow users to use World Walking to raise money for charity as they walk; and 
  • enabling users to sync their Garmin devices.

With our very best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year. We hope 2020 brings you lots of joy.

Happy Walking.

From the World Walking Team.

We love World Walking. Well we would, wouldn't we. We created it. Well, actually, the talented team of Chris and David at Papertank, Fergus at Mayday Development and Michael at Turing Ltd. created it for us but its been a team effort and we're chuffed to bits with it.

When designing World Walking we decided to pitch it for individuals and small groups. Over the years, World Walking has been used by groups of all sorts; families, community groups, churches, charities, schools and universities and workplaces.  It's a great, free option for small workplace challenges, however if you're looking for something that will cope with a large number of participants, something you can tailor to meet your specific needs, we'd recommentd you have a look at Big Team Challenge.  Not because we don't want you adding your steps to World Walking but because Big Team Challenge has been specifially designed by the team behind World Walking to allow to you to create and run your own private challenge, customising it to meet your needs.

Big Team Challenge is a cost-effective software-as-a-service solution which provides web and mobile apps for managing online ‘virtual’ walking and cycling challenges for workplaces and communities. 

You choose the duration, team size and virtual route that suits your participants, upload your branding on the website and mobile apps, and communicate with all your participants via emails and push notifications whenever you need.

Users participating in your private challenge can create or join a team, track their progress together, encourage healthy competition and build a better active daily routine.  There's a team leaderboard which refreshes every 5 minutes, allowing participants to check their team and other team positions, as well as search and ‘favourite’ certain teams to easily keep track of other colleagues and teams throughout the challenge.

Just like here at World Walking, the team at Big Team Challenge prides itself on the quality of the support it offers to its clients.  Your account and support will be managed entirely in-house using their bespoke software; there are no ‘middle-man’ account managers or external support staff and they are always on hand to help.

Your Big Team Challenge licence fee includes:

  • Access to Big Team Challenge for the duration of your challenge, including a pre-registration period.

  • A dedicated website (e.g. yourcompany.bigteamchallenge.com) and the Big Team Challenge mobile apps, allowing participants to register, login and participate in the challenge.

  • Help selecting a virtual route for each challenge from our bank of over 100 ready-to-use routes, including waypoint descriptions and professional photos.

  • Technical and user support.

  • A secure admin area where the admin staff can access (and export) user and team details as well as view reports and settings.

The Big Team Challenge website allows you to create your own challenge using their Challenge Creator Wizard.  You can sign up for free on https//bigteamchallenge.com to reserve your organisation’s Big Team Challenge website, browse our library of routes etc.  So if you're looking to promote health and wellbeing, create a little healthy competition and have some fun, make Big Team Challenge part of your 2020 vision.

As a New Year beckons, we always like to have a look back over the year.

During 2019, a further 10,200 user accounts were created on World Walking.

Over the year, our community of World Walkers added an amazing 6.2 billion steps, bringing their total to 25.2 billion steps since we launched World Walking on 2013.  This year's steps total equates to 2.6 million miles/4.3 million kilometres; or as we like to look at it, equivalent to our users walking 104 times round the world in 2019. 

5,831 virtual walks completed during the year.

We're delighted and would like to thank everyone who has helped make 2019 such a good year for World Walking.

We're also very grateful to our donors and to Inverclyde Council and Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership for their much appreciated support throughout the year and also, last but not least, to David Rushton and Chris Baldie at Papertank, and Fergus Howe and Michael Park for another year of invaluable technical support and being such a great group of guys to work with.

World Walking was designed for individuals and small groups to use. 

If you’re considering running a large corporate (or community) walking challenge, you are looking in the wrong place; World Walking is not what you need. We recommend you check out Big Team Challenge which has been created by the team behind World Walking specifically for those larger initiatives.  

However, World Walking can provide small organisations with a good, free, entry-level option for their mini-workplace wellness or challenge.

Using World Walking for a small workplace challenge is pretty straightforward. 

Creating your group

The first step is to create and name your group and upload your company logo as your avatar. 

We haven’t imposed a limit on the number of people who can join a group on World Walking but we normally recommend you keep it within 50 or so. 

As usual, you can create your group as ‘joinable’ which makes it easy for your colleagues to join; you just need share your group’s URL with them. Alternatively, you can set it up as an ‘invite-only’ group; whichever arrangement suits you best.

Although we always hope that our users will make their groups ‘public’ and, therefore, visible on World Walking, you have option of making your group ‘private’, which means that only those with whom you share your group’s URL will be able to find it and join. 

Choosing your virtual challenge route

When it comes to choosing a walk for your group, the simplest option is to choose one select one from our ‘ready-to-use’ routes that is long enough work for the duration of your mini-challenge and the number of people you hope will take part; the longer duration and the more participants the longer the route. 

As a rough guide, if you looking to set a daily target of 10,000 steps per participant you’ll need a route that will be long enough to cater for each participant walking about 30 miles per week. We’ve a number of long routes which you might consider featuring the USA, Europe, Australia, South East Asia, Canada and Africa; you could even try walking round the world!

Do you have your own ideas for a route?

If you have an idea for a route you’d like to use for your mini-challenge we’d be happy to look at this with you to see if it would be possible to create a bespoke route for you.  Please share your idea with [email protected]

The goal of your mini-challenge

The goal of your mini-challenge would be to complete your group walk and to see who had contributed the most distance.

You can view the numbers of steps added by each participant during your mini-challenge by clicking on your walk and then scrolling down to the ‘Members’ section where you’ll find a ‘See All’ button.  When you click that button you’ll see all of your group members listed in order of the number of steps they have added to the walk, highest to lowest.

Once your group walk has been completed you can find out the final ‘leaderboard’ by clicking on the ‘Completed Walks’ button and following the same sequence.

Group chat

You can post messages of encouragement to your group via the Group Chat’ facility.  A ‘Group Chat’ symbol will be displayed when group members login to alert them that a message has been posted. 

Tips

World Walking runs continuously which means that for people who already have a World Walking account their dashboard showing their steps total, achievements etc. will remain. Your mini-workplace challenge group will just become another of their groups and walks.

They can keep any other walks they are doing going and return to them when your mini-workplace challenge is over.

When someone joins World Walking for the first time and syncs their Fitbit or Apple Health Kit distances may be added to their ‘bank’ on their World Walking dashboard which pre-date the start of your mini-workplace challenge.  The simplest thing to do in that case to avoid causing confusion with your mini-workplace challenge, is for them to create a ‘solo’ walk and ‘spend’ the synced distance which has been ‘banked’ on that walk. If they ‘spend’ any synced distance that predates your mini-workplace challenge on the challenge walk their is no way to delete it. Just so you know!

If you are thinking of using World Walking for a mini-workplace challenge and have any questions check our Help Section which has the answers to a number of FAQs. If you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact [email protected]

In 2017 I was looking to find a project which could offer a challenge for residents and visitors to the Island of Cumbrae to encourage them to become more active and fortunately, discovered the World Walking concept. Following on from a meeting with its founder, Duncan Galbraith, the concept of Millport to the Moon was born. The idea was to have walkers, cyclists, golfers and others to contribute their distances travelled to see how long it would take to get to the Moon – some 235,000 away. The aim was to reach the Moon in time for the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in July 2019.

The idea quickly gained momentum when, thanks to a contribution from the NHS, we were able to supply each school pupil at Millport Primary School with their own pedometer and they started their first walk from Glasgow to London with the miles being totalled and visually recorded on the World Walking website. This was quickly followed by the members of the Boy’s Brigade taking up the challenge to walk the Great Wall of China. The three bicycle shops joined the challenge by contributing the number of circuits of the island being ridden by bike hirers and the Millport Golf Club added to that total by counting the miles walked by individual golfers. Many individuals also joined the challenge.

The challenge was launched in March 2018 and by June 2019 the total number of miles travelled had exceeded 255,000 so we made it with a month to spare. In that time, cyclist on Cumbrae travelled eight-times around the world and golfers walked 1.5 circuits of the world.

The World Walking website proved to be a winner in being able to provide a variety of virtual walking routes and a visible record of the achievements for the individuals and organisations taking part in this challenge. I would like to record my personal thanks to Duncan and his team at World Walking for their support in this event.

Charles Kelly

Part-time resident of Millport for over 30 years.

Note: Charles was directly involved in marketing and promoting the Island of Cumbrae, including creating and running the very successful tourism web site for 10 years before he decided to retire from that role in 2017.

OCEANSIDE SCHOOL DISTRICT

Oceanside, New York


A Long Island School District Finds Inspiration Across the Ocean via World Walking

Every educator knows that students who are healthy and well-balanced make the most focused and productive learners. Schools can play an important role in fostering healthy habits for body and mind. With this idea as our mission, the Oceanside School District (OSD) in Long Island, New York, launched a yearlong initiative to promote health and wellness for our students and community.

Using a simple hashtag, #OSDBeWell, and an unforgettable logo, we brainstormed what our first big event would be. We knew we wanted to capitalize on the beautiful autumn weather on Long Island to get families out walking together, but we needed a way to connect and motivate our students and community members. After a few web searches, we stumbled upon WorldWalking.org. We instantly knew we had found the app that would bring our idea to life. We created a team and decided that our first walk would be a virtual trek through all fifty states in our beautiful nation. We named it Walk Across the USA and spread the word on social media, posted banners at each of our ten schools, and sent out a newsletter announcing the challenge. We encouraged everyone to download the app and join our walking team to reach each of the 49 milestones other than our own home state of New York. We now have more than 155 members that include families, educators, and entire classes in our schools, and all are logging their steps to meet our common challenge. As we reach each milestone state, we tweet out a photo of the state summary from the app so that families walking together can learn together, too! 

Our little town is on fire with this challenge and we have already walked hundreds of thousands of steps to reach milestone 11, Arizona. All you have to do is follow us @OSDBeWell on twitter and you will see the faces of those who walk with us and post to share their fun and physical fitness.

The most remarkable part of this journey has been connecting with World Walking, a site curated in Scotland, a continent away from Long Island. We could not believe that this amazing site was free to users, created to inspire fun and fitness. I am happy to share that World Walking has done just that for the students and families in our Long Island, New York school district. No matter where in the world you are, health and wellness matter, and thanks to World Walking, the whole wide world is only steps away!

Diane Provvido 

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Research

Oceanside School District

Long Island, New York, USA



It looked like a routine email when it arrived in our World Walking inbox but it contained a lovely story about a group of senior citizens keen to walk over 2,000 miles across the United States; a journey that would see them cross 8 states and 3 time zones.

It came from Allan, a retired registered nurse and Vietnam vetern living in Madison Meadows, an independent retirement community in Phoenix, Arizona.

A walking club had been started at Allan’s retirement community. A group had been created on World Walking and the iconic Route 66 walk had been started.  Unfortunately, the person who had set everything up had left and the walking club members were stumped. They were keen to keep walking so Allan decided to step up to the plate and take on the mantle of walking group leader, hence him contacting us to ask if we could help get them back on an even keel. We were only too happy to oblige.

Happily, the Madison Meadows Walkers are now back on the road, and have walked 60% of the way along Route 66; all the way from Chicago in Illinois to Amarillo, Texas. Most of the group’s members use pedometers to keep track of their steps with the others using their phone and Fitbit.

Despite their physical limitations and their need for leg braces, walking frames and canes to help them walk, the growing number of members of the Madison Meadows Walkers are determined to keep walking and are doing very well. 

Allan says “My sneakers are smokin' hot. I am soon to get a new pair as I am burning up the soles which used to be 1/2 inch and are now down to 1/8 inch in one month. Our members are so motivated. It is a pleasure to be their leader. We are all very grateful for all the help and support World Waking gave me to continue our walking club here in AZ, USA”.

Allan, it has been our pleasure. You made our day and we look forward to applauding the arrival of the Madison Meadows Walkers in Santa Monica, California. 

Happy Walking. 

Best Wishes to you all from your friends at World Walking.

Supporting community campaigns

Over the years we've enjoyed supporting a variety of ‘campaigns’. 

Each of these campaigns has involved the use of a bespoke, branded World Walking ‘landing page’ to automatically collate the activity of those individuals and groups taking part. As well as providing a branded portal to World Walking, the URL of the ‘landing page’ can be used to promote your campaign and its progress to successful completion. 

We work with clients to design, create and connect their  ‘landing page’ and activate it when they wish their campaign to start. It will remain live for a specific period of time or until the campaign goal has been reached. 

There are a couple of different ‘landing page’ options.

World Walking ‘landing pages’ can be used to promote a campaign which focuses on a particular walk. When we create this type of ‘landing page’ we attach your chosen walk to it. The ‘landing page’ allows people to register/login. They are then automatically added to the campaign’s group and included in your chosen group walk.  As the group walk progresses, the ‘landing page’ displays the group’s distance total, complete with updated progress bar. We have used this approach to support a charity fundraising campaign and for a round-the-world ‘Walk for Wellness’ by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow to promote the health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity.

If you have set your sights on a specific distance target or simply to see how far the participants in your campaign can walk in a set period of time, we can design your ‘landing page’ to handle this. In this mode, your ‘landing page’ will again allow participants to register/login. Once they have done that they will use World Walking as normal.  The landing page will automatically tag each person who logs in or registers as a participant in your campaign.  All the distances they subsequently spend on any of our walks will automatically update the campaign distance total and, if appropriate, the progress bar on the ‘landing page’. 

We normally include a number of ‘Quick Links’ on this type of ‘landing page’ to allow participants to create a group, search for participating groups, start a walk, and add and spend distances.  We can also include a campaign video.

Campaigns which have used this type of World Walking ‘landing page’ include the Scottish Government’s for its ‘Fit in 14’ campaign to promote physical activity in the workplace, the ‘Titusville Moonwalk Challenge’, the ‘Inverclyde Million Miles Challenge’ and the Inverclyde Globetrotters’ ‘Billion Steps for Health Challenge’.

For more information, including the cost of creating a bespoke ‘landing page’ to support your community initiative, please contact [email protected]

Ideas for a new walk?

At World Walking we love creating new walks for our users. 

If you have an idea for a new walk you think would look good in our growing library, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. 

Some of our favourite walks have come from suggestions sent in by our users, including the USA's awesome Yellowstone National Park.

Please share your ideas with us by contacting [email protected]

Working for Schools

Packed with facts and great images and linked with Google Street View, World Walking brings our wonderful world right into the classroom. 

By using the miles your school clocks up through participating in initiatives such as “The Daily Mile” and “The 100 Mile Club”, World Walking enables your young students to explore their world, including wonders like the Great Wall of China and the pyramids of ancient Egypt, while gaining the health and wellbeing benefits of being physically active.

Using World Walking to support your school is easy to do. 

  • Create a group on World Walking for your classroom teachers to join; perhaps entering a ‘display name’ to indicate their class and encourage a little healthy competition.  
  • Choose one of our many ready-to-use virtual routes as your group walk or ask us to create a bespoke route for you to fit in with your specific goals.
  • Invite each class to calculate the total distance they walk each day and add that to help complete your school's group walk.  

Schools have used World Walking to support intergenerational working and charitable initiatives.

To explore further or find out more about World Walking, please contact [email protected]