The Power of Pop-Up Challenges

Pop-Up Challenges are a key component of Movable's programs. These mini challenges are short sprints interspersed throughout a longer challenge and serve to boost engagement and keep the focus on having FUN while moving more. Whether your Pop-Up Challenge is a single day, such as a Valentine's Day Velocity Challenge, or a week-long sprint, such as a "Sprint into Spring" Challenge, Pop-Ups are guaranteed to keep your group focused, engaged, and on track to reach their health and wellness goals!

Anatomy of a Pop-Up Challenge

Pop Up Challenges employ elements of the Fogg Behavior Model, developed by Stanford scientist and behavior change scholar BJ Fogg. According to Fogg, for a behavior to occur, three elements must converge at the same time: Motivation, Ability, and a Trigger. Let's take a look at the Behavior Model with a behavior we want to promote with Pop-Up Challenges, such as getting exercise during the busy work week.

Because of the short duration of Pop-Up Challenges, the Ability to take part in them is easy -- mini challenges don't take a big time commitment, so there are few barriers to participate. The Pop-Up Challenge also acts as the Trigger to the behavior you desire. The announcement of the challenge serves as the extra prompt your group might need. It's the call to action (literally!) to motivate the behavior - the mid-week workout - that you desire.
*Note that for sustained behavior change and habit formation, we recommend longer challenges (9+ weeks), but Pop-Ups are engaging extras to add in throughout the longer program. 

Reverse Pop-Ups

Reverse Pop-Up Challenges are like the pop quizzes we used to do in school - they're unexpected. While I always dreaded these surprise exams, they served their purpose of getting me to study and complete my assignments on time. Similarly, a Reverse Pop-Up Challenge can help hold your group accountable to their activity goals. Here's how to implement a Reverse Pop-Up:

  • At the beginning of your program, let your group know that there will periodically be Reverse Pop-Up Challenges, where you will look at the previous day's activity. Knowing these Reverse Pop-Ups are coming will keep your group accountable throughout your program!
  • Select a day, and then run a report for the prior day's moves; see who hit 12,000 moves.
  • Enter those participants in a raffle, rewarding them for successfully reaching the recommended level of activity for healthy adults!

Pop-Up Pro Tips

  • Use Mileage Rewards to recognize those who successfully reach a Pop-Up Challenge goal. Low-cost and highly visible, these are a great way to reward employees.
  • Plan a Pop-Up at a time when your employees might need a little extra motivation to move, such as when the weather is bad, or mid-week when life can get overwhelming and stressful... The Pop-Up will be the nudge they need to get out the door to move! 

  • Check out seasonal Pop-Up Challenge templates and ideas here!

Fit February

Pop-Up Challenges are a great way to keep your group motivated and moving. And if you’re snowed in and suffering from wintertime blues, a Pop-Up Challenge is just the thing to help you stay focused on your February fitness goals. Here are a few ideas to get your group going this month!

Valentine Velocity Challenge
Timeframe: 2 days, February 14-15
Goal: Move more than your partner!
Keep your activity goals moving forward with this Valentine’s Day weekend partner challenge. Encourage your group members to get their significant other moving with them by creating their own free Friends & Family Group (here’s how) and challenging their partner. Face off with your sweetheart and see who can earn the most moves from Saturday to Sunday. The top mover earns bragging rights!

Presidential Challenge
Timeframe: 1 week, February 16-22
Goal: More miles than your company’s leadership team!
In the Presidential Challenge, set a goal for your employees to average more miles than your company’s president and leadership! Starting on Presidents Day (February 16), set up a week-long challenge for your group and create two subgroups – one with your company’s management team, and one for employees. At the end of the week, see which team has the highest average miles. If employees come out on top, reward them with a “Fitness Friday” day (our athletic take on “Casual Friday”), an early-release day, or an hour of paid time off.

Heart-Pumping Challenge
Timeframe: 5 days, February 23-27
Goal: 50,000 steps
February is National Heart Month and what better way to celebrate than with a Heart-Pumping Challenge! Get your heart rate up with an active work week, moving 10,000 steps a day Monday through Friday. Reach the goal and you’ll be meeting the American Heart Association’s activity recommendations for a healthy heart! Reward participants who reach the 50,000 step goal with a red accessory band.


Try one of these Pop-Up Challenges with your group to keep things fun and fresh during your longer challenges, or let us know what creative Pop-Ups you’ve come up with! Thanks for all you do to get your group going!

Keep moving!