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Our agile office: A Fitbit challenge

Innovation meets Competition in this Employee Well-Being Initiative

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard about Fitbit – the fitness product that tracks every part of your day, including activity, exercise, food, weight, and sleep – to help you stay fit and motivated.

Recently, Brave New Media developed a pilot program that works with Fitbit, allowing 182A8839groups of people to compete against each other in a “fitness challenge”. With many companies promoting healthy lifestyles, this is the perfect way to encourage employees to do just that. Brave New Media is not alone in this well-being project; John Hancock has also started a vitality program for their employees using Fitbit. And partnering with Blue Zones – places around the world where people live measurably longer – Brave New Media has proven it’s no stranger to wellbeing.

According to Justin Forcier, who developed the Fitbit challenge program, competing employees are first given the choice of competing against each other individually, or as a group. Next the challenge is determined – it could be the most steps taken, the longest distance walked, the highest amount of stairs climbed, and so on. Before the competition can begin, the time frame also has to be decided, whether it’s for a week, a month, or longer. By the end of the competition, the employee or team with the highest score is incentivized with a reward.

When a company decides to take part in a competition, an administrator is given access to a leaderboard, allowing them to choose the parameters of the challenge – such as the time frame, the activity the app will track, and the incentive. The leaderboard is set up online so that participants can check their own scores, as well as the scores of others – keeping the competition competitive.

image1Jamie Templeton, Social Media Director at Brave New Media, is one employee who took part in the Fitbit challenge. The first challenge at Brave New Media was a step-counting challenge, where the employee who took the most steps within a week won a gift card to The Wedge Table – a health foods store nearby. The second challenge at Brave New Media also measured the amount of steps taken, but took place over the course of a month. Templeton was the winner of both challenges.

“I happened to be training for a race at the time of the first challenge,” said Templeton. “I’m pretty competitive, and it helps that my boss forgot to wear his Fitbit for half of the challenge.”

The program was developed by Brave New Media in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles to its employees, and to help its partners do the same. The successful launch of the pilot program has also paved way for the development of an application, which will be available to companies who also wish to encourage healthy lifestyles in the office.