Daily 10,000 steps benchmark to be phased out of National Steps Challenge from Feb. 20, 2023

Rewards for steps will be capped at 5,000 per day instead.

Nigel Chua | February 06, 2023, 04:50 PM

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It will be the end of an era for the popular National Steps Challenge, at the stroke of midnight on Feb. 20, 2023.

From 0000 hours on Feb. 20, National Steps Challenge participants will no longer be rewarded for taking 10,000 steps in a day.

Instead, rewards for daily steps will only be awarded to those who walk 5,000 or more steps, with no higher tier for those who walk 7,500 or even 10,000 steps.

Rewards for those who engage in Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) will also be reduced.

It is currently possible to get up to 80 healthpoints per day from both steps and MVPA.

But from Feb. 20, users can only get up to 30 healthpoints per day.

This was announced on Feb. 5 by the Health Promotion Board (HPB), which said the changes were made "to motivate more residents to keep active and achieve better health outcomes."

Changes to rewards structure for daily steps

The current rewards structure awards 40 healthpoints for 10,000 or more steps in a single day.

The new rewards structure will only award 10 healthpoints for 5,000 or more steps in a single day.

Changes to rewards structure for MVPA

The current rewards structure awards 40 healthpoints for MVPA of 30 minutes or more in a single day.

The new rewards structure will only award 20 healthpoints for the same level of MVPA.

Changes to the National Steps Challenge over time

The National Steps Challenge started out as a seasonal event and ran for six seasons in that format, with the first season starting in November 2015.

MVPA was progressively introduced, along with new trackers that could monitor wearers' heart rate, as a way to get rewards since October 2018, as part of the fourth season of the National Steps Challenge.

In 2021, a new Sleep Challenge was launched under the National Steps Challenge and aimed to nudge participants to sleep at least seven hours each day.

"We are going to change the NSC a bit to nudge people to do more MVPA," explained Rahayu Mahzam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary in the health and law ministries, at an event on Feb. 5.

Noting that the criteria for healthpoints would be changed, Rahayu said:

"Although the NSC is very important to bring people to move from their sedentary lives to keep active, it is also important to keep improving. If you do not improve, you cannot get more benefits."

She also highlighted that the benefits of walking include reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Synchronise data before Feb. 19, 2359hrs

HPB said all data synced from Feb. 20 2023, including steps and MVPA minutes clocked before 20 Feb 2023, will be rewarded based on the new rewards structure.

Thus, participants are reminded to sync data from fitness trackers to the Healthy 365 app before Feb. 19 2023, 2359hrs.

Top image via HPB on Facebook