Step Challenge urges UB to step it up

womans sneakers.

By UBNow Staff, Published in UBNow

Release date: March 17, 2022


Recent research in the U.S. and worldwide is showing that levels of loneliness have increased greatly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. One study from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) at UB reveals that the number of women — in particular those over the age of 70 — experiencing severe loneliness jumped 9% during the pandemic. Other research suggests that teens and young adults have been hardest hit.

If you relate to those findings, joining the seventh annual Step Challenge might be a way to help relieve those feelings. In fact, science agrees with that suggestion: Studies during and well before the pandemic — including those from UB’s WHI — show that physical activity is “conducive to enhancing happiness and improving mental health.”

Sponsored by the School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP), the Step Challenge runs from April 1-30, with registration open now. It’s free, open to the greater UB community and beyond, and a great way to reconnect, get outside and better your mental health now that spring has arrived.

The Step Challenge is part of UB’s celebraton of National Public Health Week April 4 to 10. The entire UB community is invited to take part in events that week focusing on the importance of public health education and careers, and health in general.

To take part in the Step Challenge, participants connect their fitness trackers to the challenge app, MoveSpring, to log their step counts; they can also participate on teams, as well as individually. All participants, regardless of the number of steps they take, can qualify to win different participation prizes each week and at the end of the challenge. This year, prizes include HelloFresh gift cards, FitBits, Bose Sport Headsets and more.

The Step Challenge aims to motivate participants to walk more and better all aspects of their health.

“Exercise provides a better functioning immune system, better mental health and increased cardiovascular capacity,” says Grace Lazzara, SPHHP director of marketing, communications and outreach. “So make sure to take this perfect opportunity to step together with colleagues, friends and family, and reap some evidence-based benefits.”

Direct questions about the SPHHP Step Challenge to

global goals.

Sustainable Development Goals:

3. Good Health & Wellbeing

11. Sustianable Cities & Communities