Is Wellness a Game?
Guest Blogger: Alyson Premo
We know that "wellness" should be fun in order to achieve higher participation rates, right? But in game form? Gaming, or "gamification" is what's trending in wellness today...Angry Birds Challenge? Super Mario eats more fruit? Gamification is now the new innovation hitting wellness programs across the country -are you ready?
A WSJ article published this week by Anna Wilde Mathews examines how social gaming is gaining in popularity in the benefits and wellness space. In an effort to make employees healthier, employers are now tapping into digital games to encourage regular exercise and healthy eating habits - Exerciseville, anyone?
The article claims that more and more participants are getting involved with their wellness programs because of the competition and accessability. Geologist Deanna Gerwin, for example, enrolled in the game offered by her employer, Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. She selected healthy tasks that she was already doing, such as getting eight hours of sleep a night. But when she saw that other employee teams were outstripping hers, she ramped up her efforts to generate more points, such as eating fruits and vegetables five times a day and walking 10,000 steps daily. On weekends, she logged in to do extra health quizzes that padded her point total. Soon she made it into the top 10 in the rankings.
"I was surprised I got so into it," says Ms. Gerwin, who says she rarely plays traditional digital games such as "Angry Birds."
A survey released in March by Towers Watson and the National Business Group of Health found that by the end of next year, 60% of employers said their health initiatives would include online games as well as other types of competitions between business locations or employee groups.
How about you?
To read the article, click here.