3 Ways Devices Drive Engagement

We’re incredibly excited to celebrate the launch of Movband 3 today! While we always focus on the power of our platform (which the Movband is a part of) to inspire groups to move more,  I thought it would be fitting to use today’s post to focus on the important role that the device plays in overall engagement. Read on to learn more about how devices can drive engagement, goal attainment and positive health outcomes.

1)     Visibility & Awareness
With a Movband on your wrist, you have immediate, real-time feedback about your daily activity (or inactivity!). The device serves as a visible reminder to yourself (and others!) to keep moving throughout the day. If you look down at your wrist and notice you’re a little short of your goal, your Movband can be the gentle nudge you need to get some moves in.

That same visibility can have a powerful effect on group dynamics too. When everyone is wearing a visible device, activity and wellness becomes part of the conversation, whether you're at home, school, or work. Awareness is the first step in changing behavior and it's even more powerful when done in a group setting. 

2)     The Fun Factor
At Movable, we’re all about having fun while getting healthier. We understand that making healthy changes is no easy feat, so we aim to make moving fun with colors (lots of them!) and competition. Many groups that we work with will use colored bands as rewards, which creates even more engagement with the product and group activity program.

Since your Movband can be connected to groups, your device also gives you a great opportunity to compete not only with yourself, but with coworkers, family, and friends! I enjoy facing off against my husband to see who has more moves every day (loser has to do the dishes!) and it’s fun to see how I stack up against others in Movable’s monthly challenges. But my inner competitor really comes out when I’m competing against coworkers! However you like to compete – against yourself or others, your Movband is there to make it fierce and fun!

3)    Accountability
As much as we love having fun, accountability is a huge part of achieving fitness goals and lifestyle changes. Whether you’re aiming for a personal best in daily moves or working to meet your challenge goal, your Movband gives you the accountability to measure yourself not only daily but also over time. Check on your trends to see if there’s a certain day of the week or time of the day that you tend to be inactive. As the old saying goes, knowing is half the battle! 

Speaking of accountability, we've seen that our office's activity plummets along with the temperature, so we've had pop-up challenges that reward employees with at least 12,000 moves when we get more than 1" of snow (which has happened a lot!). In fact, a bunch of us are going tubing next week to celebrate our success in the "Snow Way, We're Still Moving" Pop-Ups! 

How does your Movband help you stay engaged and reach your wellness goals? Let me know in the comments below – I’ll send a colored accessory band pack to our favorite comments!

-Kaitlin

Movable's "3 for Me" Challenge

This month we're celebrating the launch of Movband 3! For 3 weeks, give yourself the opportunity to move 3 miles a day. For your health, happiness, and overall well-being, we're challenging you (and supporting you!) to make month #3 all about ME. In the "3 for Me" challenge, it's ok to put your long to-do list aside for a bit. Find some "me" time -- time for your health, time to move 3 miles a day, for you!

Here's your challenge:
Timeframe: Tuesday, March 3 - Monday, March 23, 2015
Goal: 3 for ME! 3 miles a day, 63 miles total
Rewards: Everyone who hits the 63 mile goal will be entered into a drawing to be among the first to get a FREE Movband 3!

Sync your Movband by Wednesday, March 25 to make sure your miles are counted.

 

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About Movable's Challenges
Each month we sponsor new challenges that anyone with a Movband can participate in! We hope you'll join us to stay motivated and have the chance to win fun prizes! 

How do I join?
Everyone in the "Movable's National Challenge" group can participate just by syncing your Movband regularly! If you are not already part of the group, just click on the "Join a Group" link in the bottom right corner of the Activity Dashboard. Type in the invite code NEWYOU and click "Join" - it's that easy! You can confirm that you successfully joined the group by visiting the "My Groups" tab and selecting "Movable's National Challenge" from the drop down menu.

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.

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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!
Kaitlin

Maintaining Motivation

Now that we’re a month into 2015, the surge of motivation you felt at the start of the new year may be waning. And with a good part of winter still ahead, you might be finding it tough to stay committed to your fitness goals.

That’s ok – in fact, according to a study by researchers at Penn State, it’s normal! Motivation levels fluctuate, and even competitive athletes like me find it hard to exercise sometimes. Luckily, we’ve got some tips for you to help maintain your motivation to move throughout the winter months!

 

Play a game

Research finds that people are more motivated to move through sports or games (such as basketball, tennis, etc) than through traditional forms of exercise like running or aerobics. So you have our permission to take a break from the treadmill (or as I fondly refer to it, the dreadmill!) and join an indoor soccer team or a softball league! If you’re moving in a way that’s fun, competitive, and enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it and make it a habit.

 

Team Up

It can be tough to push yourself on your own – when you’re accountable to just you, it’s easy to make up excuses and call it quits. But when our performance affects others, such as teammates in a group, we perform better and longer, according to research from Michigan State. In the study, female participants who exercised on a stationary bike with a virtual partner worked out significantly longer than those without partners. So to maintain your motivation to move, team up with an exercise buddy!

Ask your Group Admin if your group can compete against each other in a challenge with small teams. Or, set up a group of your own! Face off against a friend with our free Friends & Family Groups – simply click on the “Create a Group” link on the homepage of your Dashboard to get started (here’s a how-to) and let the competition and motivation flow!

 

Battle the boredom!

If winter weather prevents you from taking your workout outside, you may be stuck on the treadmill or stationary bike. I personally find myself bored out of my mind after a short time and my determination fades fast. Instead of enjoying my workout, I’m usually counting down the minutes til I’m done (or sometimes even cutting it short…). To make sure you stick with your exercise plan, battle gym boredom with a peppy new playlist, an audio book, or a podcast. Check out Spotify’s Workout playlists to keep you pumped up while you’re pumping iron, or tune in to Serial Podcast, guaranteed to keep you moving til the end of the episode!

 

Reward yourself

If you’ve been successful so far in maintaining your New Year’s intentions, give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself for staying motivated! Rewards help reinforce positive behavior and can help keep you on track with your goals. Ultimately, your reward for moving more is better health, but a small extrinsic reward doesn’t hurt! So go ahead, upgrade to Spotify Premium or get that new workout top you’ve been eyeing – you’ve earned it! And if your track record in 2015 hasn’t been spot on, promise yourself a small reward in March if you stick to your February goals.

I’ve been wanting to splurge on this workout top… and to reward myself for sticking to my goals in January, I just might!

 

In your experience, what keeps you motivated when you feel like giving in? What strategies do you employ to keep yourself always moving forward? Let us know and we’ll reward you with 3 colored accessory bands of your choice!

Keep moving!
Kaitlin

 

#WHYIMOVE

With 2015 under way, I’ve been thinking a lot about setting goals and intentions for the new year. This year (and every year!) I want to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. But let’s face it – just saying that this is my New Year’s Resolution isn’t enough to keep me motivated on cold winter days or when I’m stressed or overwhelmed. So, in the spirit of sticking to my goals, I’m connecting how I move to why I move. Instead of thinking about how I’m going to be active, I’m focusing on the why, letting it serve as the added motivation I need to keep moving. My why is my husband – I move for him, so that we can share a long, healthy life together!

By focusing less on the how and more on the why, you too can be more successful in maintaining your resolutions! Remembering the reasons why you move — for your family, for stress relief, for relaxation, etc — can help propel you to action (literally!). Read on to hear what keeps the Movable team moving.

 

 Blake, Founder and CEO
“I move to ensure my health, energy and focus is at its best so our team at Movable has what it needs. Plus, by moving more I can keep up with my four kids under 10!  My favorite way to move is playing with my kids – helping Jack at football, dancing with Sam & Valerie, and keeping up with our 2 year old Ben! My wife and I often challenge each other as well which helps keep activity at the forefront of our days.”

Christine, Customer Success
“I move because I love to cook and bake! Whether it’s making our family’s secret recipe for spaghetti sauce, or trying to recreate our favorite restaurant’s dish with my husband, I love making and trying new foods. I move so I can enjoy cooking, and stay healthy at the same time, with my family for many years to come.”

 

Maureen, Operations
“I love to move in lots of ways – on the treadmill, dancing, even baby aerobics! I move to stay healthy so I am able to keep up with my kids – if that’s even possible!”

 

Mike, Product + Strategy
“I move because I relish the feeling I have afterwards! One of my favorite ways to move is going on a brisk 30-minute jog. It’s enough time for me to get my heart racing, plus it’s a convenient way for me to catch up on some of the podcasts I listen to.”

 

Now that you’ve heard from us, we want to hear from you! Why do you move — what’s your motivation, and how does it help you stay committed to your intentions and goals? Share your why with us on social media (On Facebook or Twitter at @getMovband) with the hashtag #WhyIMove. Our favorite submissions will get a Winter Wristband Pack!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, inspired 2015!
Kaitlin

 

Healthy for the Holidays

This time of year always sneaks up on me – just like that, it’s December and the holidays are upon us! It’s a busy month filled with holiday parties (and tempting treats!), travel, and vacation, all of which can throw a kink in your routine and make it easy to skip workouts. Use our December Pop-Up Challenge ideas to help your group stick to your activity goals and make it a healthy holiday season!

Egg Nog? No, Egg Jog!
Timeframe: 1 day
Goal: 15,000 steps
Earn your egg nog with an extra-active day! Kick it up a notch from the recommended 10,000 steps a day and aim for 15,000 steps to indulge guilt-free in tasty treats at your company holiday party!

Seasonal Sprint
Timeframe: 5 days, December 8-12
Goal: 25 miles (5 miles/day)
‘Tis the season for health! Sprint your way through the work week with a 5 mile a day goal. You’ll enter the weekend energized, ready for holiday celebrations, and that much closer to your much-deserved vacation!

Holiday Hustle
Timeframe: 1 week, December 25-January 1
Goal: 75,000 moves (~10,700 moves/day)
From Christmas to New Year’s, take advantage of days off from work to hustle through the holidays! After you open your Christmas presents, head out for a 30-minute walk and enjoy the festive lights decorating your neighborhood. And don’t let your 2015 get off to a sluggish start – shake off your New Year’s Eve celebrations with a morning jog with Taylor Swift tunes in your headphones!

How are you hustling this holiday season? Share with us in the comments for your chance to win our Christmas Wristband Pack!

Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a healthy 2015!
Kaitlin

 

3 Ways to Get More (with Less!) from Your Wellness Program

Tis the season for open enrollment, the time of year when eligible employees have the option to join their company-sponsored health insurance plan and enroll in health insurance benefits. With healthcare costs on the rise, this time of year can be cause for stress and concern, but it doesn’t have to be! A wellness program is an excellent way to help keep healthcare costs in check and improve the health and well-being of your employees. And best of all, you don’t have to break the bank when implementing one! Read on for some ways to get more (with less!) from your wellness program.

1)   Just Take the First Step!
Starting a wellness program doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many ways to make health and wellness a priority at your company, school, or organization, but you don’t have to tackle them all at once. Take the first step by focusing on one aspect of wellness at a time. Many of our customers initially use Movable’s group activity program as their first step into wellness by helping their team understand their activity levels and where they can be more active during the day. Focus on engaging your team, setting and reaching achievable goals, and keeping things fun! Later, take a stab at nutrition, stress, or financial wellness. One step at a time, you’ll be making an important impact on your employees’ well-being.

2)   Use Wellness Funds
Many insurers support their clients’ wellness initiatives by providing wellness dollars. These funds are an allowance for companies to spend on wellness-related projects, from a physical activity program to treadmill desks for your team. Movable is an approved expense with most insurers, so if you’re looking to address rising healthcare costs, inquire with your insurer if you’re eligible for wellness funds. Your new program could pay for itself!

3)   Incentivize with Discounts on Healthcare
Rewards are important “carrots” to entice employees to participate in a wellness program, and some of the most motivating incentives are discounts on health insurance premiums or health savings accounts (HSA) contributions. In fact, a study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that “organizations that found a positive ROI on their wellness dollars more often used incentives such as insurance premium reductions.” If you are seeking a return on your wellness investment, offering discounts on healthcare spends give you great bang for your buck — you’ll be incentivizing your team to prioritize their health while simultaneously reducing claims and curbing premium increases. Win win!

As you approach open enrollment, take the first step in tackling healthcare costs with Movable – we’re here to help you inspire movement while keeping wellness simple and engaging, so that you can get the MOST of our your wellness program!

 

Fun Fall Challenges for Your Group

With fall in full swing, I’m enjoying the cooler temperatures and the changing colors of the leaves. It’s a great time to get moving outside – which means it’s also the perfect time to get a new challenge underway! We’ve got some easy-to-implement, fun fall challenges for you to kick off with your school, company, or family. Read on for challenge ideas that are guaranteed to get your group moving together!


Walktober Challenge
Challenge your team to a 3-week walking challenge with Halloween-themed Walktober! Every day, aim to move 3.6 miles to be on track to reach the 80 mile goal.

Timeframe: 3 weeks, October 10-30
Goal: 80 miles (3.8 miles/day)
Reward Ideas:

  • Halfway through the challenge, reward all participants who reach 40 miles by October 20 with an orange colored band (perfect for Halloween accessorizing!)
  • At the end of your challenge, reward everyone who reach 80 miles by October 30 with paid time off or a half-day on Friday, October 31 so that your team can get home early for Halloween trick-or-treaters!

Fun Twist: Encourage your team to frequently sync their Movbands with a First-to-Sync Reward! Pick a day at random and reward the first person to sync their Movband with a Fall Wristband Pack!


Fitness Friday Challenge
Host a series of Pop-Up Challenges in October and November to keep you moving throughout the fall season! Every Friday, challenge your team to kick it up a notch with a Fitness Friday challenge based on moves.

Timeframe: 9 weeks – every Friday in October and November
Goal: Set the goal for your first Fitness Friday Challenge at 7,000 moves/day. Increase your moves by ~10% each week to get up to a goal of over 15,000 moves on November 28 (the day after Thanksgiving) to motivate your participants following Thanksgiving indulgences!
October 3 – 7,000 moves
October 10 – 7,700 moves
October 17 – 8,500 moves
October 24 – 9,400 moves
October 31 – 10,300 moves
November 7 – 11,300 moves
November 14 – 12,500 moves
November 21 – 14,000 moves
November 28 – 15,400 moves
Reward Ideas: Raffle off a $10 gift card each week (Starbucks gift cards are a great prize, especially for all those (skim) Pumpkin Spice Lattes we’re drinking this fall!). Enter everyone who reaches the Friday moves goal into a raffle for the weekly gift card prize!
Fun Twist: For a fun take on casual Friday, encourage your team to wear their favorite fitness gear to work for Fitness Friday. With everyone decked out in running shoes and yoga pants, take a lunchtime walk together as a team!


Turkey Trotting Team Challenge
Trot your way through November and begin the holiday season in good health with this engaging team challenge. Split your employees into teams of equal sizes and face off in a fun team competition!  (If you’re a small group, pair up participants in teams of 2; for bigger organizations, teams of 10-15 people work best). Motivate your team to make it an active weekend by rewarding the top team every Monday!

Timeframe: 1 month, November 1-30
Goal:  300,000 moves (10,000 moves/day)
Reward Ideas:

  • Every Monday (November 10, 17, 24, and December 1), reward the team with the highest total moves from the past 7 days. Reward every member of last week’s top team with a gift card to your local grocery store – these incentives will be in high demand ahead of Thanksgiving Dinner shopping!

Fun Twist: A great way to increase those weekend moves is with a walk or run! Encourage employees to sign up for your local Turkey Trot 5k race and participate together alongside coworkers. If your budget allows, subsidize the race entry fee for your employees to promote participation at what’s sure to be a fun team-building event!


We hope you love our fall challenges! Need help getting one set up? Contact your Movable Program Manager or Relationship Manager or email programs@movable.com and we’ll be happy to get you moving!

Have a happy, healthy fall!
Kaitlin

Best Moves for Back To School

With the recent start of the school year, many of our schedules just got a whole lot busier. After a summer of much-needed time off (and time for your favorite outdoor activities!), teachers and school administrators are now back to jam-packed days. Luckily, we’ve got plenty of tips for our favorite educators to stay active throughout the school day – read on for our recs!

1) Free period fitness
If you have a free period during the school day, use this time to take a brief walking break. In between your classes, step outside for 20 minutes – getting moving by walking around campus can help clear your mind and get you refreshed and ready to teach your next class!

2) Brain breaks
Studies have consistently shown that physical activity is associated with improved academic achievement and cognitive skills in students, and that brain breaks — short, 5 minute activity breaks — not only get the blood flowing, but also get your brain re-engaged. If you and your students are feeling a little sluggish, try a quick brain break to wake everyone up and re-focus. 5 minutes of movement will leave you and your class energized and ready to learn, and will help you reach your daily movement goals! Check out our favorite brain breaks here: http://www.pinterest.com/parko/brain-break-activities/

3) Movement Mondays
After a fun weekend, heading back to work at the start of the week can be tough. Ease the transition into the workweek with Movement Mondays! Get a group of fellow teachers and staff together and head to your school’s track to walk for 30 minutes and share about your weekends. Whether it’s before school, at lunch, or after the school day ends, this social time and physical activity can help ensure your week gets off to a great start!

Hear what one of our past challenge participants had to say about her experience moving with her fellow teachers and staff:

“A group of my coworkers and I are all taking the Strength and Conditioning class that our school district is offering.  I think this has brought us closer and we are all very supportive during the class.  We also keep each other in check on attendance to the class.  It has been very positive with us.” – Paula G., Belton School District, Belton, MO

We want to hear your stories too! Have you participated in a faculty and staff Movable challenge at your school? Share your favorite ways to move with your fellow teachers and we’ll send a set of 3 accessory bands to our favorite 3 comments!

If you’re interested in starting a faculty wellness program at your school or district, contact Movable today at sales[at]movable.com.

Have a happy, healthy school year!
Kaitlin

Best Practices Spotlight: Motivating Your Group to Move More

This month we’re highlighting some of the unique ways our corporate customers motivate their employees to get moving. Learn about some of the most creative challenges we’ve seen and draw inspiration for your team’s next challenge! Read on to see some ways that companies get their employees moving more during the workday and beyond.

Go big or go home!
One of our favorite Buckeye State customers, United Bank Ohio, laid it all on the line to get their employees moving. United Bank followed Movable’s turnkey 12-week program, but added a fun twist with rewards: if employees met the challenge goal, their vice president, Scott Bennett, would shave his head! You better believe this incentive got the United Bank team moving! True to his word, when the group reached the goal, Scott shaved his head!

Step it up
We all know how important (and also expensive!) health insurance is. Who wouldn’t want to pay less for their healthcare? Employees at Ontario Systems, a software company based in Muncie, Indiana, had the opportunity to do just that, by stepping it up in a 10-week step challenge. Participants who successfully reached the challenge goal for 8 out of 10 weeks of the program earned contributions to their health savings accounts. An incentive like this, or a similar reduction to monthly health insurance premiums, is a great method to motivate your team. For your next challenge, take a page out of Ontario Systems’ book to increase your group’s activity.

Fun with subgroups
Brennan, Manna & Diamond added some extra action to their challenges by getting creative with their subgroups. Tapping into the highly competitive nature of the law firm’s employees, this group of lawyers teamed up to move and meet challenge goals together. In one particularly fun (and fierce!) challenge, employees were split into subgroups led by the firm’s partners, and the subgroup with the highest total miles came out on top! But the real winners here were all the employees who made a healthy lifestyle a priority.

How do YOU motivate movement? Whether you’re leading a team challenge at your company or school, or motivating yourself to hit your own goals, we want to hear your ideas! Share your tips with us using the hashtag #movemore Facebook or Twitter (don’t forget to tag us: @getmovband). If we use one of your tips, we’ll send you a FREE colored wristband of your choice!

We’re also giving you a great chance to put your tips into action with our August #MoveMore Challenge! We hope you’ll join us! (And if you’re motivated to kick off your next group challenge, drop me a line so I can help you get started!)

Thanks for moving with us,
Kaitlin