NYU Takes Nearly 250 Million Total Steps, Columbia Prevails

Over the course of three weeks (October 2-20, 2023), faculty and employees from New York University and Columbia University embarked on a journey towards greater activity and healthier lifestyles by competing in the Global Step Challenge. Both institutions were in a heated race for the highest total steps average.

Congratulations to each participant for your dedication and accomplishments. There is much to celebrate – NYU finished with 243,187,901 total steps! When the final numbers were calculated, NYU’s total average steps were only 40 short of Columbia’s. Congratulations to our Columbia University colleagues on the overall victory.

Additionally, congratulations to team participants from NYU locations and schools/departments who earned recognition in each of the categories below.

Highest Total Steps, Average Total Steps, and Distance


  1. 1,192,304: New York, Finance Operations and Treasury
  2. 778,480: New York, NYU IT
  3. 721,576: New York, Tandon/Langone


Highest Average Total Steps and Distance


  1. 56,776: New York, Finance Operations and Treasury
  2. 38,924: New York, NYU IT
  3. 36,079: New York, Tandon/Langone


Highest Mileage Stepped


  1. 502 miles: New York, Finance Operations and Treasury
  2. 389 miles: New York, NYU IT
  3. 353 miles: New York, Tandon/Langone


Highest Daily Average Minutes

  1. New York, Finance Operations and Treasury
  2. New York, Tisch
  3. New York, Steinhardt

Most Improved Average Daily Steps (first 10 days vs. last 10 days)

  1. 311% improvement: New York, Wagner
  2. 276% improvement: New York, Tisch
  3. 275% improvement: New York, Registrar
a graphic showing Manhattan with NYU and Columbia situated at either end and a footstep tail mark inked between them

Winning Teams 

  • 2023 – Columbia Univ.
  • 2022 – Florence
  • 2021 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2020 – New York
  • 2019 – Florence
  • 2018 – New York
  • 2017 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2016 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2015 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2014 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2013 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2012 – Abu Dhabi
  • 2011 – New York

Global Walking Challenge

Did you know? 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.

Learn About the 2023 Challenge

Get ready to step up this fall by participating in the first ever NYU vs. Columbia University Global Step Challenge. Over the course of three weeks (October 2-20, 2023), faculty and employees from all NYU locations will form one big team and engage in a spirited contest to determine which university can achieve the highest average step count. Not only will individuals have the chance to compete for the ultimate bragging rights, but together, we'll also foster a healthier and more active community. Let's embrace this friendly competition, and together embark on a journey towards greater activity and healthier lifestyles.

All participants will join as one NYU team and compete against Columbia University to achieve the highest average steps. Honors will be given to the NYU participant with the highest total steps and highest average steps. Honors will also be given to the NYU location with the highest average steps.

Each participant will be automatically enrolled in a target challenge at the same time; the target is to achieve at least 133,000 total steps throughout the challenge. You can also keep your streak going by completing 7,000 steps per day.

Guidelines and Resources

  • Individuals will have five days to join from the kick-off day, and there will be a three-day grace period to sync their steps at the end of the challenge.
  • Having zero steps impacts team scores, which are based on average total steps, so sync daily. Users who do not sync at least once every seven days will be removed from the team.
  • An activity cap of 30,000 steps per day has been added to the team leaderboard, which means that each individual can sync up to 30,000 steps daily.
  • Stay engaged and sync your steps.

Additional Features

  • Education: Look for content posted within MoveSpring throughout the challenge. View motivational tips and articles on various health topics.
  • Team Chat: The team will have its designated chat room to provide support, social chatter, or friendly conversation to engage as a group. Note: Please follow NYU's social media guidelines when chatting.
  • Team Leaderboard: The university with the highest daily step average will be highlighted on MoveSpring Platform.
  • Streak: Try to meet a personal step, minute, or distance goal as many days in a row as possible. Each day you complete 7,000 steps keeps your streak going.
  • Target: Concurrent with the overall challenge, you are encouraged to complete the target goal of 133,000 steps over the 19-day challenge. MoveSpring automatically calculates an ideal daily individual target to help you stay on track.
  • Notifications: When content is posted by the challenge administrator or someone posts within your team chat, a push notification will appear. You may also receive push notifications to remind you to sync your steps. You can adjust your push notification settings, but we encourage you to leave them turned on.
Important Dates
  • Sept. 14: Registration Begins
  • Oct. 2: Challenge Begins
  • Oct. 6: Final Chance to Join
  • Oct. 20: Challenge Ends
  • Oct. 23: Final Chance to Sync Steps
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Register

Need Help Getting Set Up or During the Challenge?

View MoveSpring's Troubleshooting dashboard or contact MoveSpring Customer Support for help with setup or other issues.