A new citywide competition aims to see who can get the most steps. (Photo: MGNOnline)

Mayor Andy Berke has announced the start of a citywide digital step-tracking competition that uses a locally designed app to encourage citizens to be more active.

“Chattanooga has some of the most beautiful and diverse outdoor resources and access to so many ways to get fit,” Berke said in a prepared statement. “We have an opportunity to set an example for others for what it looks like to be a healthy, active city, and this league will help provide accountability, support and friendly competition to empower Chattanoogans to achieve their health goals.”

About the WeRoveCHA competition

The competition will be orchestrated by Rove—a locally developed step-counting app that allows friends to compete with each other through “leagues.”

Those interested in joining the citywide competition can do so by downloading the app here and joining the WeRoveCHA league here.

Anyone in the league will be automatically added to the official competition, which will kick off Sept. 6.

Once joined, users will be able to see their placement among other Chattanooga citizens and can compete for the most steps taken.

In order to encourage people to participate in the citywide competition, Berke has invited the public to join him on a walk at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 8, beginning at the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead on the Riverwalk.

This local competition is part of the Get Fit Challenge that aims to raise Chattanooga above the national average for fitness after several reports listed Chattanooga as one of the unhealthiest cities in the United States.

Other challenges have included canoeing, walking, basketball, archery and City Sweat workouts.

About the Rove app
Rove was created by Spire Labs, a local company that works to create technology that promotes well-being among the community. Spire Labs also created Spire, a social network for corporations to use in the workplace to encourage healthy living.

The company hopes that by giving people a place to connect and encourage each other, people will adopt healthy habits.

“Your fitness is so important, but improving or maintaining it is hard, especially if you’re trying to do it alone,” Spire Vice President Jonathan Yagel said in an email. “Both in our personal experiences and through our other products, particularly Spire, we’ve seen how success really depends on getting others involved.”

Spire Labs leaders also hope that people will be even more encouraged to stay healthy with the upcoming step-tracking league.

“This initiative does a great job of drawing attention to existing resources and opportunities for people to improve their fitness,” Yagel said. “We wanted to contribute, and the new Rove app provided a great way for us to leverage our expertise in digital experiences and engaging large groups of people.”

For more about Spire Labs, click here.

Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She currently attends UTC, where she was previously the news editor of the student newspaper, The University Echo. Alina also worked at CNN during the summer of 2017 and is the former Chattanooga correspondent for 2nd & Church, a literary magazine based out of Nashville. 

Updated @ 6:03 a.m. on 9/18/17 to correct the spelling of Yagel’s first name.