Atlanta, GA— FIX Health, the leader in health entertainment, announced its induction into the Wellness Council of American’s (WELCOA) 2020 Premier Provider Network to expand its presence within the employee health and wellness sphere.

Through this strategic partnership, FIX Health and WELCOA will work together to help businesses and health professionals improve employee well-being and create healthier organizational cultures. WELCOA’s platform serves as a hub for high-quality, comprehensive resources that aid in building high-performing, healthy workplaces.

“We’re excited to partner with WELCOA — especially during a time when listening, understanding and anticipating employee needs are even more critical than ever” said Mike Tinney, CEO of FIX Health. “It’s clear that HR practitioners are looking for new and creative health-based solutions to not only engage employees, but to retain that engagement — especially since many companies are still working from home. We believe that the best way to reach and help more companies and their clients is via the WELCOA Premier Provider Network and we couldn’t be more honored to be part of this robust network of providers.”

About FIX Health
FIX Health is dedicated to defining the frontier of health entertainment. FIX revolutionized corporate wellness with the introduction of their zombie-themed walking challenge, “The Outbreak,” in 2017. Today, FIX leads the industry in health-based solutions for the corporate and consumer market. Their behavior first approach has awarded them a proven track record in delivering higher participation and customer satisfaction than traditional wellness programs.

For more information on FIX Health, please contact Kim Kerlegan at kim@fix-health.com or visit their website at http://fix-health.com/

About WELCOA
WELCOA (The Wellness Council of America) is the nation’s most-respected resources for building high-performing, healthy workplaces. Throughout its 30+ year history, WELCOA has perfected its patented Well Workplace protocol which is the key to developing, delivering, and sustaining a healthy corporate culture. Today, thousands of workplace wellness practitioners, human resources professionals, business leaders and consultants rely on WELCOA for tools, training and its Premier Provider Network (PPN) partners to move their wellness programs forward. Visit WELCOA online at www.welcoa.org

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Atlanta, GA | May 28, 2020 — The team at FIX Health is pleased to announced the 2020 “#TrainingforanOutbreak” social media contest — the competition is working in tandem with Global Running Day, which falls on Wednesday, June 3 this year. The social media competition, a first for FIX Health, is a way for the company to celebrate the joys of running and to encourage others to get moving. The winner of the contest will win a $50 Amazon gift card and an exclusive FIX Health water bottle.

Interested participants should take a photo or screenshot of their run on Wednesday, June 3 — date and distance must be visible. To qualify as an entry, the photo must be coupled with a caption that includes both “#TrainingforanOutbreak” and #globalrunningday,” and the photo must be posted on either Instagram or Facebook. Entrants must also follow FIX’s Instagram account: @fixhealth, as well as our Facebook account: @FitnessInteractiveExperience and our Twitter account: @FIX_Health_. The winner will be selected randomly from the submitted entries and will be announced at 1pm EST on Thursday, June 4.

The inaugural Global Running Day, formerly known as National Running Day, was held on June, 1, 2016. On this day, more than 2.5 million people from 177 countries pledged to run more than 9.2 million miles. The worldwide celebration reminds us of the mental and physical benefits of running and the power of the running community.

For more information on Global Running Day and how to register for virtual races, visit their website at https://globalrunningday.org/

For more information on FIX Health, please contact Kim Kerlegan at kim@fix-health.com or visit their website at http://fix-health.com/.

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FIX Health is dedicated to defining the frontier of health entertainment. FIX revolutionized corporate wellness with the introduction of their zombie-themed walking challenge, “The Outbreak,” in 2017. Today, FIX leads the industry in health-based solutions for the corporate and consumer market. Their behavior first approach has awarded them a proven track record in delivering higher participation and customer satisfaction than traditional wellness programs.

Posted by jeffabeles@gmail.com in News Read More

Employee Wellness Company FIX Health Announces its Groundbreaking Employee Health Challenge, The Outbreak, has Increased User Retention to 93.9%

ATLANTA, GA. August 22, 2019  

FIX Health, makers of The Outbreak, the employee health challenge that is part game, part six-week fitness journey, announce that their continued attention to behavioral triggers, in-app affirmation moments, and application features have resulted in a 1.5% increase in user retention for their groundbreaking six-week program. The result is an increase in retention from 92.4% to 93.9%.

“You might not think of a 1.5% increase as a big number, but let me tell you, when you’re already in the 90th percentile, improvement is a game of inches,” said Mike Tinney, CEO and Founder of FIX Health. He goes on to add, “These are the goalposts. You don’t see a lot of companies talking about this key metric because most struggle to consistently engage and retain more than 60% of their users.”

FIX Health uses a core behavior method, where its programs focus on daily movement and an incremental increase in active minutes over time. Participants are chased by digital zombies in an app that features a storyline along with daily and weekly goals that require teamwork to complete.

“Our challenge participants use real world steps and activities,” adds Ali Thomason, FIX Health’s Chief Client Officer. “Their trackers (cell phones, or wearables) pick up their activities, our app validates the steps as having actually occurred, and then they spend those steps in the app to achieve milestones inside of the game.”

Global winemaker, Treasury Wine Estates, held a Spring Outbreak challenge as part of their wellness program. “We were blown away by the employee interest and participation,” said Jessica Lantieri, Senior Vice President, People & Capability. “It was fantastic to see our employees excited about working together to change their daily habits. Our completion rate ended up at 94%!”

The Outbreak has been steadily gaining ground in terms of user retention and engagement since its release in 2015. The program now has six different challenges, most of them with three difficulty levels. FIX Health delivers more content every quarter, as many of their customers use the program year-round.

FIX Health is a service mark of Fitness interactive Experience, Inc. A Georgia company. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by FIX in News Read More

by Mike Tinney

The first rule of cheating is simple: don’t get caught.

No one wants to play a game with a cheater. No one trusts a cheater. So if you’re going to cheat… better not get caught.

My name is Mike Tinney and my company FIX Health runs corporate walking challenges. Our flagship challenge, The Outbreak, is a simulated zombie apocalypse where participants must use their real-world steps to outrun the zombie horde, racing against other teams to reach each weekly safehouse. It inspires players to do a little better today than they did yesterday. In inspires teams to come together to face obstacles together and compete with their colleagues. And for a small minority of players, it inspires… cheating.

Preventing walking challenge cheatingWe deal with cheaters every day. Some cheaters are fairly clever, others mmmm… not so much. They open up their iPhone Health App and manually enter the number 50,000 as their step count for the day. Some do this at 10 AM. There’s roughly 2000 steps to a mile.

Sure, Roger, you walked 25 miles in the first 4 hours of your day.

Others are fairly clever. They “nudge” their counts up. 4,596 additional steps here, 1,102 more there, bringing their total above whatever they legitimately walked to something plausible, like 11,509. Much more believable, and until now, relatively difficult for a group health challenge like ours to detect.

Since most employers award prizes, benefits, perks, or recognition in association with one of these health programs, it’s important to minimize cheating as much as possible. Until now, that was easier said than done. And once one person starts cheating in one of these challenges, many follow. It’s like watching a dam break, and once it does it can really affect participants’ morale. But you don’t have to take my word for it. We send out a poll at the end of each challenge to get feedback. One of the questions is, “What could we do better?”

The answers usually fall into two categories: 1) “I don’t want this to end. Keep it going year ’round!” and 2)… well, I’ll paste some #2s below:

“I was on a very competitive team. We got up at 4 in the morning on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to get in 5+ miles of steps. We encouraged each other throughout the day to keep moving and get the steps in. Some of us even engaged in 2-a-day run schedules plus boot camp workouts to make things happen, but when another team has multiple players with 63,000+ steps each, it gets very frustrating for those of us busting our tails to do it the right way! Those of us who know that 63K steps is approximately 31.5 miles at a 20 mile an hour pace and that if you are moving faster your strides are longer and you take fewer steps. Some of our team members wanted to cheat to keep up with the teams that were taking impossible numbers of steps. Other teammates wanted to give up!”

“There should be no option to manually enter steps. There was too much cheating (i.e. someone putting in 50k steps per day for 5 straight weeks), which was pretty demotivating to a lot of teams.”

“It seemed like a lot of the leading teams cheated – how on earth does an actual human person earn 70,000 steps by 7am in one day?!? I don’t know how you could do it, but the cheating needs to be stopped. I love a good competition if it’s fair. There is no way an honest group of people can beat a team that cheats constantly. It’s disheartening.”

While the vast majority of feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive, we’ve been getting notes like these for years, and it’s not just us. Every walking challenge struggles with this same issue. I can’t tell you how many times it’s come up in sales calls. “We’ve used challenge XYZ in the past, but there was so much cheating.” It’s a real pain point for everyone involved: the buyer, the participants, and us.

So we did something about it.

Last week we fixed this. We have a guy on staff who’s a genius. I’m not kidding. You ever read about one of those kids who was in college when his peers were in high school? We have one of those kids (now grown up, for the most part) leading our engineering. He’s gotten deep into the code of Apple Health and Google Fit (our two primary trackers) and he’s figured out how to differentiate the steps inputs in a way that is (so far) cheat proof.

Introducing TruStep™

TruStep™ Anti-Cheating for Walking Challenges

As a result, we are pleased to introduce a new component to The Outbreak and A Step Ahead programs called TruStep™.

TruStep™ intelligently separates step inputs into two categories: verified steps that are synced directly from a user’s fitness tracker, and manual user entries.

With TruStep™, we can now run 100% validated step challenges. We can verify when, and how rapidly the steps were taken, and limit (or rule out entirely) manually entered/typed-in steps. From now on, every Outbreak challenge can validate and count only steps that actually occurred, making the credibility of the program second to none.

Cheaters beware! The Outbreak has your number… and it’s not 50,000 before 10 a.m.

Until next time,

Mike

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Posted by FIX in FIX HEALTH Read More

by Mike Tinney

Over the past 6 months we’ve been tightening the screws on The Outbreak, ironing out the few remaining rough edges and tweaking user experience. We’ve had great feedback (employees always praise our program). We’ve had great retention (>90% for the past 5 months). We’ve had a couple of learning opportunities along the way as well (we’ve enabled new anti-cheating mechanisms, in particular).

Before any new feature or challenge goes live, we test it ourselves. Our standard challenge ran for 6 weeks, so every time we wanted to test a feature, we had a 6-week program ahead of us in order to fully vet the product and changes. Find a bug? 6 weeks of testing. New feature needs a revision? 6 weeks of testing.

We tried an accelerated program (one hour = a day, and so forth) but the timing was not a great simulation of the actual experience. So in some cases, we missed important player experience changes when we blew through the challenge on the 1-day-is-an-hour pace. And yet, we couldn’t always test quickly and frequently enough with the six week challenge. Something had to be done…

What we came up with was a half-length challenge. Three weeks. Three weeks let us test twice as fast, but still had the same day length; the chapters just changed on Thursday and Sunday, instead of Sundays only. So Chapter 1 was Monday – Wednesday, Chapter 2 was Thursday – Sunday, Chapter 3 Monday – Wednesday, etc… The pace worked. We got a simulation that was pretty close to what the customer was already experiencing, but we could test out new content and settings in less than 1 month – which was important.

It was my idea to truncate like this, so I edited the game down from 6 weeks to 3. But the chapters were still there and intact, meaning, where Chapter 1 is typically set to last for 7 days, here it was set to 3. I decided to surprise my coworkers with a little something “extra.” The system calculates steps based on a daily prescription, but it calculates exercise/power based on a weekly (per chapter) prescription. So while I edited down the steps to a 3 and 4 day chapter, respectively, I kept the exercise requirements to the original 7-day amount… meaning you had to get 100 active minutes into 4 days, not 7.

“The result? A wonderfully difficult challenge. Still achievable, but 3 pretty tough weeks. I lost 4 lbs during our first run through.”

 
The result? A wonderfully difficult challenge. Still achievable, but 3 pretty tough weeks. I lost 4 lbs during our first run through. We liked it so much, we did it again almost right away. We realized we might be onto something… a shorter, harder challenge. Something that served as a system shock for the users. Something to help a guy or gal “dial it in” for beach season. And so The Blitz was born. We suddenly had a 3-week Outbreak challenge, but we ended up with so much more.

We also ended up with our hardest challenge. We get asked to “bring the pain” from time to time, and The Blitz does just that. It’s probably the closest real simulation to 3 weeks of survival in a zombie apocalypse that we’ve made to date. Not being content with just a harder challenge, we wrote up a storyline (you’re rescuing a trapped family in a nearby town). It also gave us, or, in this case, our customers, an added benefit: a cheaper challenge. We priced The Blitz at ½ of our regular pricing. Groups can take a 3-week challenge for just $9.95 per person. Take that, Planet Fitness!

We unveiled The Blitz very quietly last month. Groups are only now just starting to discover it on our self serve portal (the only place you can buy it). We don’t have enough data yet to be able to tell what the average survival rating is yet for the challenge… but we’ll gather that over time and share it in a future blog when it’s ready.

Until next time,

Mike

TRY THE BLITZ

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Posted by FIX in FIX HEALTH Read More

by Mike Tinney

Here at FIX, we have created the most engaging activity challenge in the market. We didn’t stumble upon this, we’ve been working on it for years.

We had a pretty solid true North: make health habits part of an entertainment experience. The devil was in the details, though, and we had to work hard over years to refine the experience so that it was truly entertaining and compelling.

While we don’t think we’re done with that journey, we have a number of points of evidence that support our claim that The Outbreak is the best retaining Health Challenge in the market today.

EXHIBIT A: We continue see engagement north of 90%.

For every 100 employees who begin one of our challenges, 90+ complete them. It’s happened 5 out of 5 months so far this year (in April, we had an eye-popping 96.5% engagement rate), and for the prior two years, we’ve been above 80%. We’re so confident in our app and service process that we now guarantee this completion rate to our customers. We’re the only company in the space that gives a 100% cost guarantee for up to 80% completion.

 

EXHIBIT B: Brokers rave.

We work with a lot of brokers (all wellness companies do). Brokers are gatekeepers and reps for most clients. Their job is to help their client navigate the many benefits options out there and match make between trusted providers and their clients. Because of this nexus role brokers and consultants play, they are in a unique position to see many different programs in “live, client-facing environments.” We’re told, time and time again, that no other programs excite and engage employees as effectively as ours.

 

EXHIBIT C: Insider Strife.

This is going to sound funny, maybe. We offer free pilots to insurance companies, brokerage groups and channels that would represent us to their clients. We’ve very recently started experiencing a new phenomenon with these pilots: strife. On more than one occasion, competition got so heated between teams that it was difficult to debrief and discuss market strategies. We’ve had to suggest “cool down” periods before debriefing. We’ve also found ourselves altering our pilots from a full 6 weeks to 1 to 2 week trials to cut down on competitive friction. Just last week we spent 30 minutes explaining a design decision on a game balancing rule, because someone got outmaneuvered by a coworker in the game and was mad that they lost. As they say, actions speak 1,000 words.

 

We went ahead and doubled down on that one week pilot choice, and now offer free 1 week trials to everyone.

If you’re reading this, you’re part of everyone, so the offer includes you. You can get started HERE on our portal. Gather 20 of your closest friends. Or fiercest competitors. Or both… and find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Until next time,

Mike

TRY THE OUTBREAK FOR FREE

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Posted by FIX in FIX HEALTH Read More

by Mike Tinney

We get asked a lot… Why Zombies? Why did you guys make a zombie challenge instead of something else?

It’s a fair question. You can’t throw a stick without hitting some kind of online gamified walking challenge where your steps take you on a virtual tour of some real world place, and in exchange for your hard work you unlock… a picture. Our decision to make a zombie walking challenge stretches all the way back to 2014.

It was Summer of 2014 and the Affordable Care Act had been live for half of a year. All of the market channels we had negotiated for our then flagship product UtiliFIT (hourly gamified exercises) were on hold while employers figured out what Obamacare actually meant to their bottom line.

The net effect on us was $0 coming in the door when we thought we were going to market with an innovative product. UtiliFIT was a fine game, but it really needed to be a part of something bigger and more complete. So we did what any start up would do. We had a big argument about why we were in the place we were, and what we should be doing.

“That argument lead to a suggestion that we pivot to walking challenges, which some of us thought were dumb. “Who wants to log in steps and unlock a picture of the Eiffel Tower?” Then someone asked, “well, what kind of walking challenge would we be excited about doing?”

That argument lead to a suggestion that we pivot to walking challenges, which some of us thought were dumb. “Who wants to log in steps and unlock a picture of the Eiffel Tower?” Then someone asked, “well, what kind of walking challenge would we be excited about doing?” Just like that, we were brainstorming.

Early A Step Ahead Zombies character concepts

Early A Step Ahead Zombies character concepts

We came up with all kinds of ideas for interactive walking challenges: pirates, shopping sprees, aliens, Mad Max road battles, rocket ships, Oregon Trail/westward expansion, and… zombies. Collectively, we grokked zombies a little faster/easier than some of the others. The flywheel of the experience was pretty clear: walk to stay ahead of the zombies… or else!

Then we went to work validating that someone would pay us to chase them with zombies. We sent out an email to our mailing list advertising a challenge that didn’t exist yet… and sold 3 of them within a week. We looked at each other and realized we were going to be the zombie walking company.

We prototyped a basic challenge running on our UtiliFIT web platform. In fact, back in that day, you were playing the zombie challenge on utilifit.com. It worked, but it was strung together with bailing wire. It did it’s job, though. It validated the concept and we began to collect user data and refine the experience.

We were regularly asked for more content than just zombies. Being eager to please, we obliged. We made an Aliens challenge, we made a Champions (sports stars) challenge and we made a holiday-themed challenge. We had a chase mode: you were being chased by X (Zombies or Aliens) and we had a follow mode: you were following Y (Champions or Santa). We ran these challenges on our Version 1 platform (utilifit.com) for 2 ½ years. Jan 2015 – July 2017.

In July of 2017 we launched The Outbreak, our 2.0 Health Entertainment challenge. The Outbreak harvested a “metric crap ton” of usability and technical implementation lessons from the utilifit.com A Step Ahead challenges. One of the biggest lessons, however, was “stick with zombies.” Looking at the data, it was clear. All Y’all like being chased by Zombies. You like it way more than being chased by Aliens. You like it more than racing against the Champions, and… you like zombies more than Santa. Oh snap, I said it. You like zombies more than Santa, but I have the data to back it up!

ZOMBIES OTHER THEMES
SALES (%) 84 16
AVG. STEPS PER PARTICIPANT 17,496 12,772
RETENTION IN PROGRAM 88% 79%
USER SATISFACTION 90% 89%

So, it’s Zombies for the win and we’re doubling down and delivering Netflix-binge-worthy volumes of zombie challenge content. With 2 challenges live, 2 more launching in the next 8 weeks and 3 modes per challenge, there is plenty to experience in The Outbreak, with more to come.

Until next time,

Mike

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by Mike Tinney

As some of our long-time subscribers may already know, we hit the brakes on our weekly newsletter last fall. We did it for a variety of reasons, chief of which was to refocus the content we share. We decided to align around posting original content. After all, you can get general corporate wellness news and trends from any number of sources, but as a disruptive technology startup in the somewhat traditional wellness space, we have experience, insight and perspective that is unique to us as outsiders breaking into the industry with new tactics and methodologies.

“As a disruptive technology startup in the somewhat traditional wellness space, we have experience, insight and perspective that is unique to us as outsiders breaking into the industry with new tactics and methodologies.”

Anyone who’s been following along knows we’ve been posting about our challenges and progress in the corporate health world for the past 9 weeks. Wow, hard to believe it’s been that long. We’ve shared a mix of behind the scenes experiences and general best practices on wellness initiatives.

It’s been a bit of a self discovery journey along the way as well. Writing these articles has given us cause to question what we’ve been up to and ask ourselves some “whys” in addition to the obvious “hows” that usually go with this kind of disclosure.

We’ve tracked our posts and generally see a few thousand views on social media. Not huge yet, but not nothin’ either. That’s resulted in the attention of all kinds of service providers/resellers. We get offers to improve our organic search (we show up top 1-3 organically already, so if you’re offering your SEO services maybe do a little homework first). We get offers for new kinds of community development (we look into these, but have the usual time/budget constraints that smaller companies have). And… we get good feedback, which is what we were looking for in the first place.

“If you’re a broker or consultant, you can get access to the industry version of our newsletter that will include results, statistics and a schedule of upcoming promotions.”

This week, however, we’re going to level up. We’re dusting off our old weekly email newsletter initiative and adding more in-depth content. The editorial features will be a little more robust and we’ll include insider access to our product from time to time. We’re also running a weekly customer testimonial feature, where each week, a customer’s own experience with our product will get a spot light. (If you’d like to have your testimonial featured we’d love to hear from you.)

But wait, there’s more! If you’re a broker or consultant, you can get access to the industry version of our newsletter that will include results, statistics, a schedule of upcoming promotions, etc.

We have a mailing list that spans the last 5 years and many thousands of subscribers, but if you’re not on it and you’d like to add your name to it, here’s a handy form to do so!

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The first new edition launches this week. The Revolution will not be televised. It will not be blogged. It will be newslettered.

Until next time,

Mike

Posted by FIX in FIX HEALTH Read More

by Mike Tinney

Here’s a strange thought: as Americans, we’re not selfish enough. Sounds strange, right? I know all my international colleagues reading this will be all, “Whaaat? You guys are winning at selfish.” But hear me out.

How do we spend our time? We sell it to our employer, and they give us money and affirmation. We give it to our family, and they give us love and affirmation. We invest it in our hobbies/entertainment, and that gives us satisfaction and joy.

“It’s no wonder, then, that we’re headed for a diabetes health epidemic in the next 20 years that will rival the black plague.”

A Diabetes Epidemic is Coming

A Diabetes Epidemic is Coming

So what falls to the very bottom of many Americans’ “to-do” lists? Our health. Most of us, as many as 95% of us (if you believe some of the statics), put ourselves so far at the bottom of our to-do list, that we never get to it. We’re a society that gives most of our time to work, family and entertainment, and very little time to exercise, nutrition and physical activity. It’s no wonder, then, that we’re headed for a diabetes health epidemic in the next 20 years that will rival the black plague.

I think most people believe in the concept of “tomorrow.” Meaning, if you can’t get to yourself today, you can commit to tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, most of us repeat the process: Work, Family, Entertainment. Then, when self-health comes up it gets kicked to tomorrow again.

“No one seems to disagree with the statement that, “a healthier person tends to be happier and more productive.”

While we pay a price for this, individually, in terms of longevity and quality of life. The entities that employ us pay collective price for their employee base that can be quite high. The specific cost of an unhealthy employee is not the subject of this little rant of mine. It’s also a pretty murky field with a lot of research and a lot of informed challenges to said research. Having said that, no one seems to disagree with the statement that, “a healthier person tends to be happier and more productive.” It’s an opinion based statement, and I get that feelings are subjective, but no one’s disagreed with that sentiment yet. Do you?

HR to the Rescue?
We have a sentiment at FIX that suggests that the employer is the financial beneficiary of good employee health. That is not an ROI argument for wellness, it’s a statement that your employer pays you for your time, and the value of the time you contribute towards your employer’s business agendas is influenced by your happiness and productivity, which, in turn, is affected by your health. As a nation we are VERY unhealthy. For example, for every 100 employees, on average, you have the following habits/health conditions present in an organization:

For every 100 employees you have, statistically…
For every 100 employees you have...
69 are overweight
36 of those are obese
12 have diabetes
3 have diabetes but don’t know it
33 have high blood pressure
17 have high cholesterol
33 have high triglycerides
19 smoke
95 fail to get enough exercise
62 have sleep issues
77 struggle with stress
9 suffer from depressive issues

“95% will opt toward something other than exercise as their hobby. They’ll opt for video games, netflix binging, board games, bowling, knitting, reading, carousing… the list goes on.”

How do we change behavior, though, when we already selflessly give most of our time to our employers and family. Can we really be blamed for giving our own hobbies and interests what’s left of our time? Maybe not. Some people have exercise as a hobby. By the report I referenced above, that’s maybe 5% of us. 95% will opt toward something other than exercise as their hobby. They’ll opt for video games, netflix binging, board games, bowling, knitting, reading, carousing… the list goes on.

Our Hack
Knowing that people prioritize their entertainment ahead of their health, we hacked the system a bit. We’ve been working on it going on 6 years now. We now have a game… that is enjoyable to play… that requires real world steps and exercise to play. That game triggers a dopamine release in the brain when you hit game milestones. Those milestones require steps and sweat equity to achieve. All of a sudden, people walk more to make progress in their game, and in doing so… get a little healthier.

Our Advice
Be a little more selfish when it comes to your own health. It’s good for you, and good for all the other people and groups you invest your time with.

Until next time,

Mike

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