GW to Offer ‘Steps’ Competition

Faculty, staff and students invited to #StepItUpGW in online fitness challenge.

September 23, 2015

By James Irwin

George Washington University faculty, students and staff are being invited to participate in an online fitness challenge in October to promote healthy living and wellness.

The GW Steps Challenge is part of the university’s annual Celebration of Excellence and is supported by Healthy GW, which promotes physical, mental and social well-being on campus.

The challenge runs Oct. 1-29. Participants will be matched up in daily head-to-head competition with a different member of the GW community. Prizes will be awarded to the individual with the best head-to-head record and to the university department with the highest cumulative step average.



Head-to-head challenge

The individual with the best head-to head win record will win an Apple Watch. In the event of a tie, the prize will go to the individual with the highest daily step average.

Team challenge

Across the university, all departments will be competing against each other in a team challenge for a free lunch from Beefsteak. The team with the highest cumulative step average wins.

“I think encouraging physical fitness is really important,” said Kelsey Johnston, a Presidential Administrative Fellow and graduate student in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences who works at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. “GW is already a very active community, and this is a way to make it more social. I think it’s a great avenue to connect with others through common activity—we can connect with other people we might not know on a daily basis.”

To participate: Faculty and staff can sign up for the competition online and then select their division, school or college, which doubles as their team. Students select the “student” option. Participants who join the team challenge are automatically entered into the head-to-head challenge. GW has provided a full list of challenge rules. FAQs are located on the GW Steps Challenge website.

Dan Wright, B.A. ’13, an audio-visual specialist at the Mount Vernon Campus, signed up for the challenge shortly after registration opened. He has a personal goal of 20,000 steps a day.

“A few of my coworkers also decided to do a mini-competition against each other,” he said. “I love the idea. Too often we can get in front of a computer and spend a lot of time at our desks not moving around. This type of competition can promote really healthy lifestyles.”

Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, Misfit, Apple Watch, Moves and Withings are a few of the fitness apps people can use to connect to the challenge. iPhone users with iOS 8 can download the Matchup app to track their progress in the head-to-head challenge. Participants without an iPhone can follow at

Participants must register by Sept. 30. Winners will be announced Oct. 30 at the Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom.