SINGAPORE: The National Steps Challenge, a campaign which encourages people to be more active, has been effective in getting participants to walk more even after the initiative ended, according to latest findings by the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
The study, presented on Friday (Aug 25) at the Singapore Medical Week & FutureMed Expo, found that 70 per cent of participants in the National Steps Challenge who started off "insufficiently active" have been walking more, post-challenge.
A person who clocks less than 150 minutes of physical activity each week is considered to be insufficiently active.
Dr Mathia Lee, assistant director of HPB's analytics & insights department, said that part of the reason was because key elements, like the wearing of step trackers, have been a social enabler.
When worn, a step tracker is a visual piece that can act as a conversation-starter among colleagues and family, Dr Lee said.
And when people are involved collectively in an effort, such as physical activity, it becomes a form of social bonding. Participants can also get strong social and peer support, the study found.
"A lot of what our work (involves) would be to give people that little nudge. It’s not about why you have to walk, because 50 years from now it will be good for you," Dr Lee said.
"It’s about why you have to take that next step to finish your 10,000-step target tonight.”
The National Steps Challenge has drawn more than 500,000 participants over its two editions so far. A third edition of the initiative will return in October this year.