Amazed to have reached their 10th birthday and buoyed up by the success of  'Walk Europe' for World Heart Day 2017, the Inverclyde Globetrotters decided to go for broke and launch their 'One Billion Steps for Health' Challenge using World Walking to celebrate World Heart Day on 29 September 2018.

To be honest ' one billion' was just a figure plucked out of the air; it seemed like a nice, big round number. They didn't realise just how far it was until they worked out that one billion steps in World Walking terms is 426,075 miles; not quite all the way to the Moon and back but a long, long way all the same. 

Thanks to a grant from Inverclyde Health & Social Care Partnership, a snazzy, branded World Walking 'landing page' was created for the Challenge by Papertank, the web wizards behind World Walking. The landing page allowed people to register/login to take part, create their own groups, start virtual walks from the range available on World Walking and add their distances. The big bonus of using the landing page was that it allowed all the distances added by those taking part to be automatically summed and displayed as a dynamic total letting everyone check on how the Challenge was progressing at a glance.

The Challenge was launched just before Christmas 2017 to help get 2018 off on the right foot.

By the time World Heart Day 2018 came around an amazing 766.2 million steps (326,459 miles) had been recorded; which means that, together, those taking part had walked the equivalent of 13 times round the World to promote heart health. Delighted by completing 76.6% of the Challenge it's been decided to keep it going to see if the magical 'billion steps' target can be reached.

As well as a number of individuals, a total of 38 groups took part in the 'One Billion Steps for Health' Challenge. These included:

The Inverclyde Globetrotters would like to say a huge 'Thank You' to everyone who has participated in the Challenge, especially Charles Kelly and his team at the 'Millport to the Moon Challenge' for their awesome contribution. 

The 'One Billion Steps for Health' Challenge was the only event undertaken in Scotland, and one of only 10 in the UK, organised to support World Heart Day 2018.

If you'd like to find out more about the 'One Billion Steps for Health' Challenge or explore how best to use World Walking to support your own walking initiative, please contact [email protected] 

The One Billion Steps for Health Challenge is open to everyone.

World Walking

World Walking allows you to use the distances you walk in the real world to complete imaginary (virtual) walks ranging from city tours to worldwide journeys. There are over 160 virtual walks to choose from.

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.  World Walking app users can even find out how high they’ve climbed!

  • See the world:  There are hundreds of the world’s most amazing places to visit with World Walking.  See where you are using the built-in Google Street View.Gain awards:  

  • There are 20 Awards to unlock!  The more you walk, the more you receive.

Signing up to take part in the Challenge

If you would like to take part in the One Billion Steps for Health Challenge, 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:  

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 live total displayed on the landing page of the miles walked by all the individuals and groups taking part in the Challenge.

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 the Billion Steps Challenge

  • 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 in the Challenge.

Once you have registered to take part in the Billion Steps for Health Challenge 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

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 users enter their distance correctly they can set a default unit of distance. To do this click on 'settings' on the menu or your dashboard (your  home page) 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:

Many feet will make light work of one billion steps.

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