Roseville alumnus creates COVID-inspired step challenge


Roseville alumnus Jason Russell found a unique way to make the most of COVID-19 pandemic experience by encouraging others to go outside and be active. On his social media, Russell created a challenge and asked people to go on walks or jogs and track their steps. They would then send him their numbers and he would total them up.

His goal is to match steps to the amount of COVID-19 cases in the world.

When creating this challenge, Russell decided footsteps were the most reasonable measurement of exercise and made it easiest for anyone to participate.

“Steps seemed like the most feasible thing to do at the time,” Russell said. “There aren’t that many logical options that can mathematically add up to 2 million, but steps seems like something [people] could do effectively and quickly.”

This challenge began on April 14 and nearly 40 people including family, friends, coworkers and strangers have reached out and participated. Participants have submitted a varied range of steps, the highest being over 150,000 and the lowest being just over 5,000.

Jenna Miller, a friend of Russell and participant of the step challenge, appreciates that Russell’s challenge encouraged her to go outside more often.

“I would be going on walks but it gets me out more frequently. I usually worked out at my gym at school so this challenge has made it a little bit easier of an adjustment,” Miller said.

As of April 30, Russell has tracked about 2.2 million steps.