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Global Walking Challenge

Fifth Annual Contest (November 15 - December 12, 2015) Concludes with Record 119 Million Steps

Global Walking Challenge

Held in November-December 2015 by NYU LiveSmart, the Global Walking Challenge resulted in a fun and collegial connection for NYU New York, NYU Abu Dhabi, and NYU Shanghai – inspiring faculty and employees across our global network to make enhancements in their daily lives toward a healthier lifestyle.*

The results are in! Recording individual steps on a shared spreadsheet, 774 participants collectively walked more than 119 million steps or 60,000 miles – 12 million steps more than last year. To put this four-week accomplishment in perspective, if all participants began stepping in New York and walked to Abu Dhabi – eight times! – there would be approximately enough miles remaining to walk to our NYU colleagues in Shanghai.

The winning team is calculated by the total number of team steps divided by the number of participants to achieve the average number of steps:

NYU New York

Winner of the inaugural contest, teammates took 78,275,892 total steps, with an average of 269,917 steps; the top walker logged 750,225 steps.

NYU Shanghai

In their second year of competition, teammates took 23,179,115 total steps, with an average of 275,942 steps; the top walker logged 562,913 steps.

NYU Abu Dhabi

Reigning champions since 2012, teammates took 18,105,865 total steps, with an average of 282,904 steps; the top walker logged 631,810 steps.

Congratulations, Abu Dhabi team – for the fourth consecutive year, you continue to hold the torch trophy!

  • 2015 – Abu Dhabi team
  • 2014 – Abu Dhabi team
  • 2013 – Abu Dhabi team
  • 2012 – Abu Dhabi team
  • 2011 – New York team

If you participated in the Global Walking Challenge and wish to provide a comment for inclusion on this page, tweet with the hashtag #nyusteps or send an email to

* The World Health Organization, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and American Heart Foundation recommend a minimum 10,000 steps per day to improve health and reduce risks of chronic disease. What's your daily step count?

Global Walking Challenge


Comments from


"This was a positive, collaborative and motivating challenge. It created a good talking point within the team and I really enjoyed being a part of it."

"How to wear the pedometer in NYC: click here for image."

"Thank you for coordinating this health challenge! My second pedometer broke during the last week and I finally gave up counting, but I walk to and from work daily and rarely ride the subway or bus, so I feel confident I’m doing as much walking as I can. Plus, this week the elevator in our apt building broke and may be out of service for months! We live on the 5th floor. We are getting plenty of exercise, especially my 4 yr old!"

"My two young sons (8 and 5yrs old) are my biggest cheer leaders. Which is why I wanted to ask you if there are any extra pedometers? If there is, can I please have two for them? They would be so excited to feel like a part of our team."

"I am giving up the stationary bicycle for the month (no steps counted there) and instead substituting other cardio activities. Also, as I try to take the stairs as much as possible but hating going up past the endless floors before the 2nd floor, I am taking the elevator only to the 2nd floor and walking from there and getting off the elevator two floors below the floor that I live on (confuses the neighbors a bit, though)."

"Our pup is also enjoying the walking program. She has benefitted greatly."

"I love the NYU Global Walking Contest! This program has pushed me to walk a little more each day, take the stairs and generally be more aware of my physical activity. I also appreciated the connection with our Global site and the collegial competition. That said, I hope we (NYU New York) walk away with the trophy!"

"I used to run one mile each morning, but due to the fact that I was participating in the global walking contest, I thought that I would push the envelope. I am now running three miles a day, feeling great and intend on bringing the trophy home to New York!"

"It is 6,842 miles from New York City to Abu Dhabi. That is roughly 14,368,200 steps. Collectively, we have walked back and forth both global sites, with extra steps to spare for sight-seeing! :-)"

"I am glad I signed up for this contest. I run 4 - 5 times a week but fail to cross-train, do warm-ups and cool-downs. For this contest, I get up earlier to walk a mile before and after a run. I walk to and from Port Authority to 721 Broadway to log in more steps. At lunch, I take the stairs instead of the elevator. The contest is definitely helping me train for a 15K race on December 17. I am running faster and longer on weekends."

"I've been trying to lose weight and get in shape without success for years. Exercising has always been a chore. I never knew how I was doing, or never saw the results as I've seen this past month. I have more energy and I feel lighter. I used to complain about my knees hurting, as I climbed up or walked down stairs/steps. I feel like a new younger person. I can now run up and down steps without feeling winded. Thank you for giving me the incentive to walk daily and keep in shape. I'm sorry the walk is coming to an end, but I will not stop walking. I've started recording my steps on Facebook :) When I began walking, my goal was to walk 10000 steps (5 miles) a day. Although it was hard in the beginning to reach that goal, I was very excited when I made it. My next goal is 10 miles. I almost made it yesterday; I walked 7.5 miles. It is hard to reach these goals away from the gym, but contantly moving when at home, work, or waiting for the train helps me towards accomplishing my goal. Thank you. A very satisfied walker :)"

"I took my walking to a whole other level in Europe. During our winter break, I went to Italy and France and walked 11-18.5 miles/day. I busted my walking goal wide open :)."

Global Walking Program pedometer
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