Spreading Fitbit Love to the Workplace

Extra steps can offset walking

Our mission here at Fitbit is to empower and inspire people to live a healthier, more active life. We believe that small changes can add up to big results, and we created Fitbit’s corporate wellness program to bring the benefits of Fitbit trackers to the workplace, because, as a surprise to no one: healthy employees are happier and more productive!

Our corporate wellness program works with existing wellness offerings, or as a stand-alone program to motivate employees to reach their wellness goals and to create friendly competition among co-workers.

Hack Reactor, a software development boot-camp based in San Francisco, is just one example of how Fitbit works in the workforce. The company equipped their employees with Fitbit trackers and created a Fitbit community group for them.

We invited Maggie Utgoff from Hack Reactor to share their story.

“My life goal is to create one of the best work environments in the history of time. Hack Reactor has been kind enough to let me carry out that mission with them,” says Maggie Utgoff.

“Obviously happiness is a big part creating an awesome environment. Exercise releases endorphins and makes people more positive, energetic and creative. The Integrated Benefits Institute, says poor health costs the U.S. economy $576 billion a year. Of that amount, 39 percent, or $227 billion is from “lost productivity” from employee absenteeism due to illness or what researchers called “presenteeism,” when employees report to work but illness keeps them from performing at their best,” says Maggie. “So, duh, healthy employees are happier and more productive.”

“Hack Reactor’s recent health initiative is to give all of our employees Fitbit trackers. When the “Hack Reactor” group was created something magical happened. I had 100% of Hack Reactor employees participating in an activity involving health and getting SUPER excited/competitive about it. People started walking to work and almost everyone admitted to walking in circles around their house late at night to get to their 10,000 step goal each day,” says Maggie.

“Recently I told employees they would earn one fresh organic juice for the office for every 25,000 steps walked and the person with the most steps per week was given power to choose the juice types. Some of us are really competitive, and some of us love juice, and we’re now walking on average 4,300 more steps per week. Combining collaborative and competitive elements helped motivate employees to walk more and encourage each other,” says Maggie.

“We are also sleeping better! A study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that the more sleep deprived a person, the worse his or her work becomes. Our Fitbit trackers measure how long and how well we sleep, so we can look into our sleep patterns and collect information about what might be less than optimal conditions for a good night’s rest,” says Maggie.

“Our health initiative isn’t just confined to staff. We recently started the Elevator Hater’s Club where students and staff compete to see how many times they can walk up the 8 flights of stairs to our floor instead of using the elevator,” says Maggie.

“Recently our staff has been happier and more productive. Our students are getting better jobs and we are all moving around much more. Being healthy contributes to overall happiness and loving your job, and Fitbit helps us move around much more than we otherwise would,” says Maggie.

We love hearing these stories. If your company has created unique challenges or had any unexpected responses to Fitbit challenges, please share!

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