How the Health Action Council Steps Up Engagement with Fitbit
Health Action Council Partners with Fitbit to Step Up and Give Back
The Health Action Council knows quite a bit about improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community. A member-driven, not-for-profit organization based in Cleveland, the Health Action Council as part of its mission collaborates with 200+ employers and union groups along with key healthcare stakeholders to build a culture of health.
One sure-fire way that the Health Action Council engages its community every year is to host a series of seriously fun events—the Step It Up Challenges, which are virtual team competitions that come complete with outstanding prizes for teams and individual winners. The Health Action Council runs the Challenges two to three times each year.
Now in its fourth year, the Step It Up Challenge is a no-cost, three-week step program that brings employers all the benefits of an official step program without all the management hassles. During the Challenge, the step data from participants’ Fitbit devices are collected and tallied on the MoveSpring platform. All organizations need to do to join is register a team of at least three participants, which can be employees, colleagues, customers, family, and friends. Participants don’t have to be Health Action members to compete.
Ramping Up Engagement and Competition
“The Step It Up Challenges provide an easy, turnkey way to promote health among an employee population, even when budget cuts occur,” explains Patty Starr, President and CEO of Health Action Council. “Fitness is a habit that can be shared with others. These challenges are very competitive, and they build teamwork and nurture collaboration among colleagues, friends, and family.”
The results confirm Starr’s analysis. The competition is fierce—which leads to some seriously high engagement and step counts. The events were quite popular during the difficult, isolating months of the pandemic. For instance, the summer 2020 Step It Up Challenge was filled to capacity, with more than 700 participants from 100 different teams averaging 9,841 steps each day. In spring 2019, the individual winner logged an impressive 32,625 steps every day, totaling 456,751 steps over the two-week challenge.
One participant in the Step It Challenge during the pandemic was a teacher competing with her Ohio school district team. She got her steps in by scheduling her morning runs to dash by her student’s homes, to the delight of all the kids who were a bit isolated from months of distance learning.
“The participants in these challenges find fun and effective ways to compete and commit to the importance of fitness, exercise, and good health,” says Starr. “Everyone likes a bit of a competition, with the end goal of feeling healthier.”
Paying It Forward and Giving Back
The path to victory in the Step It Up Challenge is very straightforward:
- Be the team with the highest average total steps
- Keep moving to reach the top of the leaderboard
- Maintain a daily streak for 21 days
- Complete the weekly challenges.
The prizes in the Step It Up Challenge are most definitely worth wearing out a pair of running kicks. The team winner receives a healthy lunch for everyone on the team and a donation in their name to either a local school garden project or a Ronald McDonald House Charity. The individual winner for the spring 2022 competition gets three of the featured-packed Fitbit Charge 5 trackers.