Fitbit Test Produces Amazing Results
September 11, 2014 | 1793 Views
Training and development goes beyond just focusing on core job skills or teaching everyone how to implement the latest promotion. It is also about focusing on personal development - more specifically, a focus on health and wellness. At Marriott, we consider ways our training programs can make a personal impact! Here is a recent example from one of our senior leadership courses.
In June 2014, we provided each participant with a Fitbit wristband to conduct a two-month test to evaluate how active each participant was. The Fitbit wristband retails for $100 and we purchased 30 of them for students and course instructors. This was in lieu of contracting an external speaker to deliver a half-day session on "health and wellness" that historically costs in excess of $10,000. Additionally, the class traditionally receives a personal gift (e.g., shirt, jacket, bag) for being part of the program. We felt the Fitbit was more meaningful than another golf shirt.
A Fitbit webpage was created so participants could view the class leaderboard to track how they rank against their peers. Tracking included the number of steps, minutes active, and distance traveled. Each week a synopsis report was sent out to congratulate top scoring individuals and to encourage ongoing participation. For added competition, the project teams were pitted against each other and the top performing team all received awards during graduation, which was held in late August.
Look at the results and the personal success stories realized in just two months:
- 28 participating members of the class logged more than:
- 6,000 miles
- 11 million steps
- 18,000 minutes of "active time"
- Our top performer racked up 1.2 Million steps, lost 12 pounds, changed his entire activity schedule during and after work, and adjusted his diet as a result of the program.
- Several individuals noted they lost between 10 and 14 pounds.
- One individual reduced their medication based on his doctor's recommendation because he was significantly more active than before.
- Many realized how at first they did not walk around the property as much as they thought. They quickly "stepped it up" which was subsequently noticed by their Executive Committee (EC) members. In some cases, EC team members also joined in and started their own property group / Fitbit challenge.
Several people noted that they bought wristbands for their family members and now make exercise an entire family affair.
During our class debrief, participants noted the following:
- "It was friendly competition that was very motivating."
- "I watched other participants' progress each week and I set my sights on logging more steps than everyone else."
- "It was a great feeling to get notified by the wristband when I achieved my 10,000 step daily goal."
- "I'm more conscious of my sleep patterns - and this helped me realize that I wasn't sleeping well. I made adjustments to my bedtime habits and now I feel much better."
- "I take the stairs instead of the elevator...I'm more conscious of the choices I take and I'll opt to rack up a few more steps now. It is becoming second-habit."
- "Instead of heading for the airport bar before my flight, I'll walk the terminal for 30 minutes instead."
- "What gets measured ,gets done...this class measured me personally and I didn't want to end up on the bottom of pile. But I also didn't want to let myself down."
- "I changed my lunch habits entirely...I go out for a walk and take my team with me. We talk, walk, and get a lot accomplished in the 20 or 30 minutes. More team members are interested in joining in."
- "I got those little 'badges' for achieving certain victories...I got the 30,000 step-a-day badge and I challenged myself for 35,000 steps. A few of us are challenging each other to see who can do 40,000 steps first. Who knows where we'll go next!"
All we did was simply distribute the Fitbits, and asked for their participation. After a week....the program was off and running (really running...).
Consider this approach for any program where you can track participation and generate some healthy competition. Have fun mixing up the recognition... Most number of steps, longest distance traveled in a day, least amount of steps in a "recovery week" (a.k.a. have a lazy week which is okay too!). Facilitators need to be involved and step it up too!
Be a good example and watch how many people follow your lead (or blow past you!) It's very motivating. Try it!