Haven’t you heard? The National Steps Challenge is back for Season 4 from 27 Oct 2018 to 30 Apr 2019. Now heartland uncles and aunties will have something to do in between episodes of Yanxi Palace!
If you have no clue what this whole “HPB step challenge” thingy is, but are intrigued by rumours of a free wearable steps tracker and shopping vouchers just for walking around, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to tell you all about the HPB Steps Challenge, what free stuff you can get, and how to sign your lazy ass up.
This article is NOT sponsored by the Health Promotion Board. Don’t anyhow say me. I’m just very committed to getting freebies from the government.
Tell me all about the National Steps Challenge!
Spent a few hundred bucks on a Fitbit or Apple Watch, and congratulating yourself for making such a smart investment on your health?
Yeah, well, no Singaporean above 50 is gonna be impressed with you. They’ve been outfoxing you all this while by earning “money” with their 100% free HPB wearable steps tracker.
They’ve been doing so with the Health Promotion Board’s National Steps Challenge, one of the easiest and fastest ways to earn government-sponsored freebies.
The National Steps Challenge is free for all members of the public to participate in, as long as you’re aged 17 years old and above and have a valid NRIC or FIN number. Season 4 runs from 27 Oct 2018 to 30 Apr 2019.
Here’s how it works in 5 steps:
- Download the HPB Healthy 365 app
- Join the National Steps Challenge on the app
- Link the app to your fitness tracking device (can be your phone as well)
- Earn Healthpoints based on the number of steps you take each day
- Redeem your Healthpoints for vouchers
Come on, if tech-challenged senior citizens can do it, so can you.
When & where to collect your free HPB steps tracker
So you’ve downloaded the Healthy 365 app and officially joined the National Steps Challenge. Now what?
If you’re a true auntie, the logical next step is to collect your free HPB steps tracker. No matter if you already have a dozen Fitbits at home. Free stuff from gahmen, must take lah.
Plus, HPB is releasing a new and improved version with heart rate monitor for Season 4. Fancy. You’re still entitled to take one even if you already have an old tracker from a previous season.
You can collect your HPB steps tracker at National Steps Challenge roadshows, SingPost outlets, and selected shopping malls (“Health Promoting Malls”).
However, when and where to collect depends on whether you’re a new participant or a returning participant:
|Collection point||Returning participants||New participants|
|National Steps Challenge roadshows||Every weekend from now until 25 Nov (selected roadshows only)||Every weekend from now until 25 Nov (all roadshows)|
|SingPost (appointment needed)||Open from 24 Sep onwards||Open from 29 Oct onwards|
|Health Promoting Malls (Season 3 completers only, appointment needed)||Open from 24 Sep onwards (varies from mall to mall)||–|
See the official HPB website for the full list of National Steps Challenge roadshows, malls and SingPost outlets. (Scroll down and click on Roadshow/Trackers Collection.)
How to make a National Steps Challenge appointment
Unless you enjoy attending noisy, crowded roadshows, it is probably a good idea to make an appointment to collect your HPB steps tracker. This also helps you secure a tracker, because there’s a chance they might get fully redeemed at roadshows.
Here’s when and where you can make a National Steps Challenge appointment:
|Type of participant||Appointment booking||Steps tracker collection|
|Returning participants (all)||18 Sep onwards||24 Sep onwards from SingPost|
|Returning participants (Season 3 completers)||18 Sep onwards||24 Sep onwards from Health Promoting Malls (varies from mall to mall)|
|New participants||15 Oct onwards||29 Oct onwards at SingPost|
If this is your virgin National Steps Challenge, you can book an appointment from 15 Oct onwards, and collect your tracker at your neighbourhood SingPost from 29 Oct.
For returning participants, collection is now open. Just go ahead and book an appointment to collect from SingPost any time you like.
If you completed Season 3, you’re entitled to a Completer’s kit: a t-shirt, notebook plus the latest HPB fitness tracker. Woohoo! You can collect it from one of 10 participating shopping malls. Collection is now open, but note that the dates varies from mall to mall.
You can book an appointment through stepschallenge-appointment.com. You can also collect steps trackers on behalf of others with NRIC proof, up to 3 steps tracker in total.
Earning Healthpoints with your steps tracker
Once you’re all set up with your Healthy 365 app and free HPB steps tracker (or any other compatible tracker), you can start earning points for every step you take… and eventually turn those points into vouchers.
So… how do you start earning points to get you to that very first voucher? Here’s the earn rates for walking around:
|Signing up (new participants or returning participant who has not completed Tier 1)||300 (bonus)|
|5,000 to 7,499 steps in a day||10|
|7,500 to 9,999 steps in a day||25|
|10,000 or more steps in a day||40|
|Completing Tier 1 of Steps Rewards||300 (bonus)|
|Completing Tier 2 of Steps Rewards||350 (bonus)|
Once your total hits 750 Healthpoints, you would complete Tier 1 and can get your hands on your first $5 voucher.
Then you continue walking to level up to the next tier. The “gameplay” is similar to classic console games, where you try to clear levels. Every time you clear a level, you get a $5 or $10 voucher.
|Steps Rewards tiers||Healthpoints needed to complete||Rewards value|
|Tier 2||Additional 1,500||$10|
|Tier 3||Additional 750||$5|
|Tier 4||Additional 750||$5|
|Tier 5||Additional 750||$5|
|Tier 6||Additional 750||$5|
In summary, it’ll take about 100 days (10,000 steps or more) to complete the entire National Steps Challenge and earn the full amount of $35 in vouchers.
Side note: If you took part in National Steps Challenge Season 3 but didn’t complete it, you can continue from the rewards tier that you previously unlocked. Any unredeemed points will not be carried forward, though.
New MVPA Rewards category for even more Healthpoints
For National Steps Challenge Season 4, HPB finally realised that there are ways to stay fit apart from walking around all the time. So they’ve released a new “side quest” called MVPA Rewards (MVPA = Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activities).
However, it’s only available if you’ve completed Tier 2 of the Steps Challenge during this or past seasons. This includes you crazy chiongsters who actually completed the entire Season 3.
MVPA is any kind of activity* that elevates your heart rate above 63% of your maximum heart rate. There’s a formula to calculate your maximum: 220 – your age = maximum heart rate (in beats per minute or bpm).
Here’s how you earn Healthpoints with MVPA, once your qualify for MVPA Rewards:
|Completing Tier 2 of Steps Rewards||350 (bonus)|
|10 to 19 min of MVPA||10|
|20 to 29 min of MVPA||25|
|30 min or more of MVPA||40|
|Completing Tier 2 of MVPA Rewards||300|
|Completing Tier 3 of MVPA Rewards||300|
The MVPA side quest operates on its own tiered system, independently of the Steps Rewards. This is what you get at each tier:
|MVPA Rewards tiers||Healthpoints needed to complete||Rewards value|
|Tier 2||Additional 750||$5|
|Tier 3||Additional 1,500||$10|
|Tier 4||Additional 1,500||$10|
* I bet you’re already thinking of wearing your HPB steps tracker next time you and your partner do the deed, right? Talk about doing your part for the country.
Other HPB programmes for earning Healthpoints
Earning Healthpoints with the National Steps Challenge can take a pretty long time, even if you already lead an active lifestyle. If you’re super enthu about maxing out on your HPB rewards, consider these additional programmes to boost your points:
|12 Oct to 14 Oct||Move It! pop-up (Lot One)||750 per activity station|
|19 Oct to 21 Oct||Move It! pop-up (Serangoon Nex)||750 per activity station|
|Until 26 Oct||Eat, Shop, Drink Healthy Challenge||Varies|
|26 Nov to 31 Mar 2019 (register by 30 Nov)||NSC Community Challenge||750 to 1,500 (if your GRC wins)|
|Anytime||Scan & Win QR code hotspots||80 (after completing 10 scans)|
Not all of the Healthpoints earned here will contribute to your Steps Rewards, but you can still exchange them for vouchers and other rewards.
A final one to highlight is the National Steps Challenge Corporate Challenge, where you sign up as a workplace to compete collectively. Registration closes on 5 Nov and the actual challenge is next year, 7 Jan to 21 Apr 2019. The top prize is a pretty crazy $10,000 in CASH.
National Steps Challenge Healthpoint vouchers & prizes
Since you gotta do something with all those Healthpoints, here’s a preview of what you can get…
First, you can redeem your HPB Healthpoints for vouchers. There’s a few to choose from, but the standard HPB voucher is pretty damn versatile – it’s almost actual currency since it’s accepted at so many merchants. (No merchant would decline to work with the gov, I imagine.)
You can use HPB vouchers at all the local supermarkets (NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage, Giant & Sheng Siong), 7-11, Golden Village theatres, shopping malls, chain eateries & bubble tea shops (Koi & Liho – so you can undo all your hard work with brown sugar milk tea), and even Klook.
On top of all these rewards, you can also win some pretty amazing prizes every time you clock 10,000 steps (1 chance) or 30 minutes of MVPA (2 chances) a day:
- 1st prize: A pair of Singapore Airlines Business Class tickets to New York
- 2nd prize: $10,000 in Royal Caribbean cruise vouchers
- 3rd prize: $5,000 worth of AIBI home fitness equipment
You read right. SQ Business Class, baby. I guess you can throw away your miles cards now.
National Steps Challenge veterans, any tips to share with us? Tell us in the comments!
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