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How to succeed with your health challenge – 7 tips

health challenge
Have you decided to invest in a health challenge? Congratulations! It is a big step in the right direction. But there are some pitfalls to avoid, and some tricks to really get the most out of it. Here are our top seven tips!
Written by: Oskar Boding
Read: 5 min.
Oskar Boding is one of the founders of We + and is passionate about creating new habits with regular exercise that change people’s lives.

A health challenge that gets the employees started!

A health challenge is a smart way to motivate the employees to get regular exercise into their everyday lives. By breaking sedentary routines and make use of the power of the group, you help them get started with their exercise.

Regular exercise makes employees feel good, improve self-esteem and reduce sick leave. But an increased exercise level also means improved oxygen uptake. This leads to increased productivity, which experts believe is the biggest gain for employers.

In order to get the best possible results, the challenge must be implemented in the right way. Otherwise, you will get too few participants, low levels of engagement or employees may think that the challenge will be difficult instead of positive.

On the other hand, if you do the right thing, the reward is great! Many companies we have worked with have gotten fantastic results. The vast majority of the companies do not just do one health challenge, they do several, because the employees think that they are fun and produce good results.

We have many years of experience working with health challenges for Sweden’s largest companies – so we know how the most successful companies have done. We want to share this with you!

"We make sure to launch the health challenge in a fun and exciting way and we want to attract those who do not normally exercise very much. It is important to get the managers onboard early so they can create buzz and inspire their teams"
Kristina Forsmark-Matsson, Human Resources Director, Canon Sweden on how they repeatedly have received surprisingly great involvement in their health challenge.
7 tips to succeed with your health challenge

Choose an activity that is fun

Choose an activity that creates good team spirit, with low thresholds, where everyone can participate on equal terms. Then tailor the activity to the company's look and feel and adapt the activity's structure to the company's culture. Be sure to choose a name that also works the second and third time you run the challenge.

Be clear and simple

The easier the activity is to understand, the more people want to participate. Avoid squeezing in all health aspects into one single activity. It may feel hard with "too much at once" and it will also be more difficult to get employees to join the activity. If any translation has to take place between things like minutes, calories, and steps, it suddenly becomes complicated and many will give up.

Communication is key

Create a plan and follow it step by step. Let the company management send the message and involve managers from the start. Everyone has a lot to do in their regular work and the health challenge easily disappear in the background. Send reminders about the invitation for the health challenge several times. Let the managers motivate their teams to join. Persistence and committed managers are important for gaining interest and high level of participation.

Short and recurring

The best effect comes from health challenges that are short (4-6 weeks) and recurring (repeated activities, for example every six months or every year, 3 times in a row). Everyone should be able to participate and be able to finish the challenge. The feeling afterward should be positive. When the employees ask "When do we go again?", you know you have succeeded!

Help everyone - instead of a few

If there is a competition involved, focus on communication and physical prices connected to the effort the entire company makes as a whole. Be sure to focus on the large number of participants who make a positive change, instead of highlighting individuals or groups within the company.

Encourage, motivate and praise!

Keep on communicating during the whole activity. Encourage employees and praise them for their achievements. Use "lively and happy" communication during the activity such as a collage with photos of employees in combination with positive statistics.

Analyze and follow up

Finish the challenge with a prize ceremony where you once again praise the effort of the entire company. Book a follow-up meeting with your supplier where you analyze statistics from the challenge and collect feedback from the users. Write down thoughts and ideas and set a date for a follow-up activity.
Contact us for a short consultation on how to succeed with your health challenge.

In the end everyone wins.

If you succeed as a group, you have helped both yourself and each other to a healthier life.

Happier and smarter

Working out on a regular basis makes you happier, stronger and improves creativity and self-esteem.

Reduces mental illness

Exercising improves sleep and reduces stress and anxiety.

Reduces risk of diseases

Regular exercising greatly reduces the risk of, cardiovascular diseases, several forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, etc.

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