– We have done a few step challenges, but are looking for something more modern. We have heard that We+ is the new thing?
The short answer? Absolutely! The long answer? Continue reading and we will tell you about the evolution of the step challenge.
Written by: Mikael Bredberg.
Read: 5 min.
Mikael Bredberg is one of the founders of We+. He is passionate about how physical exercise boosts wellbeing, engagement and team spirit at work. And that it’s all about the social interactions to make it happen.
In recent years, you may have got the feeling that a step challenge doesn’t work as well anymore. Health and wellness in the workplace have evolved tremendously since the first step challenge started. The step challenge has not evolved as much and has fallen behind. More and more people are talking about the step challenge as a dying phenomenon.
Investing time, money and energy in the employees’ well-being is good from many perspectives. More focus on health provides healthier and happier employees. This is no news today. But in the early 2000s it was new and the step challenge was born.
The step challenge is simple but not adapted
A step challenge was an easy way for an organization to get started with a wellness program for its employees. Step challenges have inspired many inactive to start moving. Many people thought it was great!
But since the beginning of the 21st century, the exercise industry has completely exploded. Today there are more options for exercise than ever before. Everyone can do what suits them best. Some like swimming, some think yoga is the best, some prefer running.
Proportion with health hazardous fitness level.
Nearly half, 46%, of the working population is in such bad shape physically that it becomes a health hazard, according to a study.
Risk reduction by excercise.
The risk reduction for diseases when being physically active can be as high as 50% shows a study from US Department of Health and Human Services
Exercise must get done – in the long run as well
The world sees bigger and bigger problems with sedentary lifestyles and declining fitness levels. But we also know much more about how important exercise is. Most people want to exercise more. But they do not find the motivation, the routine, or the will.
The best exercise is the one that gets done – and the one that gets done week after week, year after year. Unfortunately, many people stop taking their 10,000 steps as soon as the step challenge is over and they put away the pedometer. And then they are back in the couch again.
In order for the exercise activities to remain in the long run, it must be activities that fit in your everyday life. Something that is fun and engaging and above all – something you have chosen yourself. You want your employees to continue on with their exercise – even after the challenge at work is over. Right?
The step challenge is unfair
The step challenge obviously focuses on the number of steps. Because of that, the dog owners and the janitors usually win, which can feel a little unfair. And of course there are step challenges where you can translate different activities into steps, but in our eyes, that’s just awkward and complicated. Why shouldn’t everyone be able to compete on equal terms? With the activity that suits oneself the best?
After a few step challenges, employees often get tired of the step challenge as an activity.
Okay, but what’s new, what’s the next thing? Well, we’ll tell you!
“Today, employees want a fun, simple and more social activity that everyone can join on equal terms – which means that what the step challenge once stood for, now has become a completely new kind of wellness challenge”
/Mikael Bredberg, We+
Today, employees want an exercise activity with the freedom of choice!
In order for exercise to become part of someone’s everyday life, it must fit the person’s personality and everyday life. Therefore, time, place and format must be completely optional. It can be a brisk walk at lunch, circular training with friends or training for a marathon. You want to be able to do what suits your everyday life and you think is the most fun. That’s when it gets done.
Today, people want to have an exercise activity where everyone can be able to participate – on equal terms
Actually, everyone is competing for their own well-being – not against each other. Everyone should be able to participate on equal terms. An activity should be considered to be an activity regardless of how hard or how long it is, or how many steps you have taken compared to others. The important thing is that the activity gets done. You compete with each other and above all, you compete with yourself! By competing on equal terms, exercise becomes fun – for everyone. The competition will be a motivating factor that will help you to go through with the exercise. And it will increase the team spirit in the company.
Today, people want a fun and engaging exercise activity
We are social beings that are motivated by appreciation. Most of us need to be cheered on. Many of us have a personal trainer just to get someone to cheer you on. In order to succeed, you should make sure that your exercise is linked to social interactions. It could be images, video clips, comments, and likes. The employees fill the social interactions with fun and relevant content – instead of just gathering steps. We at We+ know how important the power of the group is.
Launch one wellness program- regardless if you are in a local or a global organization
If you have employees scattered over the country or all over the world, you want to be able to motivate and engage them from a distance. Use an online-based exercise service that works just as well locally as globally (and is tailored to fit all the world’s time zones) so you can build the group no matter how big or small the organization is.
Finally, a big thank you to the step challenge – and goodbye!
The things that the step challenge stood for we have transferred to our new activities. Simplicity and competition are still important. But since the needs have changed, we have developed a completely new kind of exercise activity. Therefore, we want to give a warm thank you to the old step challenge that we are now burying in favour of a modern, social and fun wellness challenge!