November 2017

NAI Hiffman Fitbit Challenge Recap


Over the past three months, NAI Hiffman hosted our first-ever Fitbit Challenge in partnership with our insurance provider, Cigna. Participants in the three-month contest racked up some impressive numbers. Here’s a recap with some key comparisons and infographics:

We had 48 participants, roughly 1/3rd of the company. Of those participants, 23 people took more than 1 million steps over the course of the 91-day contest.

According to an international 2003 study, the average American takes about 5,117 steps per day, well below other countries in the study. Our company average represented well, however, outdistancing even the most ambulatory international challenger (Australia, 9,695 steps per day).


Accounting is our most prolific walking department, boasting a 12,256 per-day average, followed by management with 11,676 per day, brokerage with 10,131 per day and corporate (marketing, IT, senior leadership) with 9,080 per day. More than half of our participants exceeded the 10,000 step per day average recommended by the American Heart Association.


Much has been written and said about the differences between generations, but a quick study of our sample group found very little difference between our avocado-toast-fueled Millenials (10,742 per day) and our old folks (10,989 per day). Apparently, it takes about 247 steps a day to walk to the porch and yell at Millennials to get off the lawn.


Assuming an average stride length of 2.5 feet for men and 2.2 feet for women, our participants walked a total of 21,051 miles over the course of the challenge.

  • At an average walking pace of 3.1 miles per hour, it would take a person walking 12 hours a day 566 days to match that distance.
  • In the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, Forrest ran for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days and 16 hours, covering an estimated 19,024 miles. We beat him by more than 1,000 miles.
  • 21,051 miles is only 3,850 miles shy of the entire circumference of the earth. It’s the equivalent of walking from New York to Los Angeles 7 1/2 times.
  • Check this out – the circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles, and the diameter is 7,917 miles. That means if we had a drill and some heat resistant shoes and a helmet, we could have (roughly) walked through the center of the earth, come out on the other side, then walk around half the earth back to where we started.

The world record for toe-tapping is 1,163 taps in a minute. It was set by Anthony Morigerato at Eleanor’s School of Dance in Albany, New York on June 23, 2011. It would take Anthony 16 straight days of furious, world-record pace toe-tapping to reach our step total. And his heart would probably explode.

Humans burn approximately 1 calorie for every 20 steps we take. There are 3,500 calories in every pound. By that metric, our steps burned a total of 2.38 million calories, which equates to 681 total pounds. That is roughly the weight of:

  • three panda bears stacked on top of one another
  • a kangaroo in a golf cart, or
  • 681 guinea pigs.

681 pounds is about 25 times the weight of a gold bar. Gold is currently valued at $1,280.10 per ounce, meaning that if the amount of calories we burned were worth their weight in gold, we’d have made $13.94 million.

By any measure, the 2017 NAI Hiffman Fitbit Challenge was a success. Thanks to Cigna Insurance and to everyone who participated.


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