“It’s clear that moving matters.”

That’s the bottom line assessment of Dr. Jack Groppel, a founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute, as reported in the New York Times.

Dr. Groppel’s study of the corrosive effects of uninterrupted sitting yields a very simple recommendation to sedentary workers – walk for 5 minutes every hour during the work day.

The study, which compared all-day-sitters with those who walked for 5 minutes per hour, clearly showed the a range of benefits to the walking segment.

The walkers reported greater happiness, less fatigue and considerably less craving for food.

The subjects’ ratings of how they were feeling rose when they did not sit for six uninterrupted hours.

They also noted that the walking breaks did not cause people to feel more tired or hungry, but instead had the opposite effect.

As the doctor says – moving matters.

If your team needs to jump start its daily activity for greater health and productivity, be sure to check out our office walking challenges for walking challenges that work!

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Spring into action! Spring is the best time of year for a walking challenge – the weather is great and employees who have been cooped up for the winter are excited about getting out and active.

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Last week in Part 1 of this series on standing desk health research, we discussed reporting from Europe that showed the scarcity of evidence of health benefits derived from standing at work.

This week, we go to the New York Times where they delve into the topic of standing for weight loss.

This study involved fitting subjects with respirator masks that precisely measured the energy expenditure of several kinds of activities.

One group, tasked with simply sitting, unsurprisingly burned a low 20 calories over the course of 15 minutes.

Much more surprising was that the group which was instructed to stand for 15 minutes only burned 2 more calories, for a total of 22.

Subjects who walked for 15 minutes, however, were in an entirely different league.
As the article notes:

…when the volunteers walked for 15 minutes, even at a fairly easy pace, they burned about three times as many calories as when they sat or stood. If they walked for an hour, the researchers calculated, they would incinerate about 130 more calories than if they stayed in their chairs or stood up at their desks…”

They continue on noting that making walking a daily habit may be enough “to help people avoid creeping, yearly weight gain.”

The evidence in favor of walking, to offset the chronic effects of sedentary office life, is overwhelming. If you would like to bring walking into your office through an engaging, gamified walking challenge, check out A Step Ahead now!

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Headphones and earbuds can turn your walks into high value time. Listen to an audiobook. Find a good podcast. Call your mom.

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The standing-desk industry is thriving.

Health-conscious go-getters are converting their standard desks into standing desks with 3rd party add-ons. Some are bringing in entirely new (and pricey) units which can convert from standing to sitting with the touch of a button. And why not? Clearly, standing during the day has to be healthier than sitting, right?
Well, not so fast…

Several recent studies cast doubt on the health benefits of standing during work, and some data even signals that frequent prolonged standing may even be detrimental.

NPR reports on Finnish research that says:

“The idea you should be standing four hours a day? There’s no real evidence for that,” [Dr. Jos Verbeek] says. “I would say that there’s evidence that standing can be bad for your health.” A 2005 study in Denmark showed prolonged standing at work led to a higher hospitalization risk for enlarged veins.

But surely all that standing will help you lose weight, right?

We wish that were true. More on that next week in Standing Is The New Sitting Part 2.

In the meantime, the one thing that is universally agreed upon is that walking is one of the healthiest habits that a human can have. Learn how to bring walking challenges to your staff at https://www.astepaheadchallenge.com!

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Should I sit or stand at work: This conversation is a luxury to millions of workers whose jobs require that they stand all day. If you or your staff stands for a large amount of time, use an anti-fatigue mat to absorb the impact.

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Entrepreneur Magazine has partnered with CultureIQ to find the Top Company Cultures in America – and the No. 1 spot goes to a Healthcare company with a passion for Employee Wellness.

Fusion Medical Staffing took the top spot in this prestigious review by building a collaborative, employee-first culture. Their vetting of new candidates is extremely thorough, with interviewers asking a series of probing questions to determine if candidates “are driven but also open to helping other people out.” Fusion finds that searching for people with the core characteristics of being “humble, driven, and positive” makes for a culture of people that are working for each other as much as themselves.

And the rewards for making the cut? The first thing they tout on their list of benefits is their commitment to employee health and wellness – a 6,000-square foot fitness center,  yoga studio, classes, and more.

When co-Founder Scott Wehner speaks about these Wellness benefits, he considers it an investment that more than pays for itself.

“I believe that a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. At the end of the day, the investment that we put into wellness comes back to us four fold.”

If your company would like to bring more of the positive benefits of wellness to your employees, a Walking Challenge is the perfect way to begin.

A Step Ahead makes makes “gamified” story-based Walking Challenges that produce record results in employee participation, retention and enjoyment – find out more at https://www.astepaheadchallenge.com/

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Stay hydrated at work: If you don’t like plain water, add a spritz of lemon or lime juice for a citrusy twist!

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Hootsuite CEO, Ryan Holmes, pays his employees to exercise at work, and thinks you should too.

Hootsuite’s service is a platform that helps other companies manage their social media. They currently have 1,000 employees and a very active gym in their corporate headquarters in Vancouver, Canada.

Ryan recently published an overview of the benefits Hootsuite has seen from this emphasis on Employee Wellness.

His article is well worth reading, and here are a few highlights emphasizing bottom-line ROI:

“For health, for morale and, yes, for the bottom line, it’s the best decision we could have made.”

“…  even on a ruthlessly practical level, allowing and encouraging employees to exercise at work makes good sense.”

“Time lost on exercise is made back and more in terms of improved productivity. And research backs this up.”

In fairness, however, not everyone is part of a Pacific Northwestern tech company where cultural expectations and urban planning work to the advantage of Wellness efforts.

If you would like to jump-start your company Wellness, check out A Step Ahead for story-based, gamified Walking Challenges that employees love.
FIX Health: Newsletter Tip

Master stairs: Use stairs as much as possible throughout the day for a workout you won’t even realize you’re doing.

 

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Congratulations! You live in interesting times.

After a contentious confirmation process, President Trump’s new Secretary of Health and Human Services is now in his first week on the job. Said Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is tasked with his party’s stated mission to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” That raises a few questions about the future of healthcare in the United States, to say the least.

What now?
How will the healthcare industry react?
Most importantly, how will this affect you and your organization?

There are rumors. There are a dozen competing proposals. And there is no clear line of sight on what will happen next. This uncertainty is exacerbated by the administration’s passion for abrupt and disruptive change. In fact, Trump’s own campaign promises would suggest that action is imminent:


But for all of the current examples of groups, companies, and individuals scrambling to adjust to new rules, it appears that healthcare is one category in which we’ll have more time to prepare and read the tea-leaves. Fast forwarding to now, Trump recently had this to say to Fox News about the timeline for “repeal and replace:”

“I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

It appears (at least for now) that businesses will have the opportunity to watch Washington for signs of things to come and make deliberate, forward-thinking decisions. In the meantime, however, isn’t it time for your group to focus on proactively improving health and wellness?

According to the CDC, chronic disease accounts for 70% of US deaths and 86% healthcare costs – and these are conditions that can be drastically mitigated simply by 1) not smoking and 2) walking on most days.

When your team is ready to literally begin taking control of their lives, consider A Step Ahead Walking Challenges for the gold-standard in Corporate Wellness.

To alleviate stress and anxiety at work try 30 seconds of desk-side low intensity activity each hour. 10 chair squats 8 times a day can raise your heart rate and change your life!


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AMC’s series, The Walking Dead begins new episodes this week and continues to be a cable ratings phenomena. Fans will thrill as human survivors struggle through a zombie-filled wasteland. But for all the heartache and drama the characters endure, at the very least you can say this – they get in a lot of heart-healthy walking.

Human leader, Sheriff Rick Grimes, has hoofed it from sleepy King County, to Atlanta, to Alexandria, meaning he has logged over 800 miles – largely on foot. In fact, assuming he does not get eaten by ghouls, Rick should be in fantastic health!

The Arthritis Foundation lists their 12 greatest benefits of a walking lifestyle which include advantages as far ranging as emotional well being, joint health, and straight up longer life.

If only there was a way to bring that kind of positive change to the people you work with every day… Well actually, there is. And yes, it has zombies.

A Step Ahead: Zombies is the Corporate Walking Challenge where your real-world steps move your video game character away from a horde of rampaging zombies. This “gamified” approach to wellness produces higher participation and completion rates than found in other challenges.

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Don’t go it alone! Walking with a friend or group is more fun and makes you more likely to stick with the program.

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Our modern health epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease is not a “knowledge problem,” it is a “behavior problem.”

In other words, it is no longer surprising to hear more evidence that the the top causes of death in America are preventable by diet and exercise. That being said, over the last year, a staggering number of research projects have added even more clarity to the conversation.

The New York Times has rounded up some amazing wellness research conclusions from the past year in one excellent article.

In brief…

• Exercise has been shown to produce more “immunity cells” making the active subjects less likely to develop disease.

• Working the body’s muscles, in effect, changes brain cells in ways that increase the number of critical neurons.

Exercise “turns white fat cells brown” – a state where calories are actively burned.

• Running was shown to build up “gut microbes” drive a body towards “lifelong leanness.”

• Exercise of almost any amount may substantially lower risks for depression, muscle wasting, at least 13 types of cancer, and colds.

In spite of these insights, as a culture we already know that “sitting all day is bad and exercising will make us live longer and better.” Yet we are not adjusting our behaviors according.

What will it take to get us to respond? How about $2,500? That is the yearly savings we would see if we walked for 30 minutes most days.

Would you like for your workplace to be more immune; have more neurons; have browner fat; have better gut microbes; be less depressed; have a reduced risk of cancer and colds; and pay less in medical costs?

Then check out our most engaging and enjoyable office step challenges in the business!

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Track Your Activity. Research shows that people who track their activity are much more likely to stay active long term.

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Not that long ago the video game, Pokemon Go!, was hailed as a solution for sedentary behavior and obesity in Americans. Here was a game that was played on mobile phones and where real-world walking helped succeed in the game. Downloads exceeded 100 million. People increased their activity.

Then as quickly as it began, the bottom fell out. Why?

Forbes has now reported on Harvard studies that explain it the dropoff. In a nutshell, this research shows an all-too-predictable pattern. The group studied had a huge initial spike in engagement, which diminished weekly until the 6-week mark, when walking had normalized to pre-game levels.

Forbes offered advice to the game makers…

•First, it has to consistently outcompete other emerging games.

•Secondly, the game has to keep changing.

•Third, other things in your life have to change as well.

We have different advice for you and your employees…

Fitness Interactive Experience has been making employees healthier through video games since 2012 and is continuing to grow at a remarkable rate. Why?

FIX turns the issues that Pokemon Go! struggles with into advantages. Their “Gamified” Corporate Walking Challenges are designed in 6-week “story arcs” that motivate the players, then have cool-down periods until the next 6-week challenge. (Plus FIX’s Walking Challenges have zombies!)

To learn more about FIX’s Wellness success with companies like Coca Cola and Cigna, check out our office step challenges.

FIX Health: Newsletter Tip


Write It Down! – Research shows you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

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FIX’s video game approach in Corporate Wellness results in 12x growth.

Launched in 2012, FIX’s expansion into 2017 continues to be disruptive in an otherwise conservative, stagnant and transformative wellness space.

Fitness Interactive Experience (FIX) leaves 2016 celebrating a groundbreaking entry into the wellness market. 12x growth over a two-year period has attracted new investment to FIX, prompting a second round of financing. This funding accelerates FIX’s strategy to bring gamified walking challenges and solutions to corporate wellness. The investment is being used to expand operational capacity and velocity.

FIX announces the hire of Dan Harrison, formerly of CBIZ and Gallagher Benefit Services. “This is an important hire, allowing us to better serve employee benefits consultants and brokers,” said Mike Tinney, FIX’s founder and CEO. “Dan’s role will be to manage our evolution as a service organization to better meet the needs of the consultant and broker market.”

Dan is not the only strategic hire FIX has made to facilitate expansion. FIX is also very pleased to announce the addition of Baddi Sigurdsson, formerly of Zenimax and CCP, as Chief Operations Officer. Baddie will oversee client deployments and operations. Baddi’s experience with all aspects of operations is critical to scaling FIX’s cadence to deploy and meet its growing demand.

FIX’s flagship game, A Step Ahead: Zombies has made huge strides with customer results in 2016. Using an iterative development methodology common in videogame design, FIX has steadily increased engagement and retention in their corporate wellness programs. FIX now engages corporate clients at an engagement rate up to 50% above historical employee engagement levels. Furthermore, FIX’s proprietary predictive data analytics allow them to maintain 80-90% engagement rate of all participants through the duration of the challenges, with many groups exceeding 95%.

About FIX
Fitness Interactive Experience (FIX) was founded on the belief that all aspects of life are enhanced by a healthy lifestyle. FIX develops high quality, interactive games that promote health and daily activity in a fun, socially connected environment. Running on the revolutionary UtiliFIT® Activity Engine, FIX’s A Step Ahead™ walking challenges are sweeping the nation and disrupting the traditionally staid corporate wellness industry with their unique mixture of game design, real-world activity tracking and… zombies. Contact Greg.Fountain@fix-fit.com or visit https://www.astepaheadchallenge.com to learn more.

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