Wellness app gets people moving

CBC/Radio-Canada tries out 30-day challenge focused on 5 ‘pillars of health’
By Michael Moszberg
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/25/2018
CBC employees were invited to download the Vistance Wellness app and participate in a 30-day health challenge in early 2018. Credit: Kiev.Victor (Shutterstock)

Back in 2017, CBC/Radio-Canada’s EAP management team was looking for a way to add digital technology to its wellness offering. In particular, they were looking for a mobile option that integrated elements of personalization and gamification. 

The challenge was finding a bilingual app that could accommodate employees spread across multiple locations while also being easy to use and providing reliable measurement data.

The goal was to increase engagement in the wellness program and improve health outcomes, resulting in strengthened productivity and engagement while mitigating future health risks.

CBC/Radio-Canada ended up using the Vistance Wellness app from Rideau Recognition.

Employees were invited to download the app and participate in a 30-day health challenge in early 2018 through a variety of team-based challenges surrounding five “pillars of health” — eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, exercising regularly, reducing stress and getting enough rest.

Employees then formed teams with the goal of completing a set number of objectives within these pillars.

To score points, daily rules including drinking lots of water, eating healthy meals, walking 5,000 steps, doing 20 minutes of cardio and de-stressing exercises.

Employees were encouraged to interact with teammates through the app to ensure their team was reaching its daily goals.

Following the 30-day challenge, Patrick Gagné, senior national manager of CBC/Radio-Canada’s EAP, received 15 pages of positive comments and stories from people who found the challenge engaging, felt more fit, and experienced higher energy levels.

“The word ‘energy’ came up a lot,” says Gagné. “The impact was not only felt from a health perspective, but also in engagement and teamwork. Participants had a lot of fun with their colleagues — it created a lot of positive energy in our various offices.”

At the end of the challenge, the app’s analytics revealed:

• 98 per cent of participants had improved at least one lifestyle habit

• 80 per cent of participants had a greater willingness to keep improving their health

• 70 per cent of participants built stronger relationship with their colleagues

• 50 per cent of participants felt improved energy at work.

The app also contributed to an improvement in teamwork and engagement through shared mutual goals, which has a strong link to improved productivity, according to Gagné.

One employee said the app “helps you change your habits and keeps you motivated,” while another appreciated the social aspect: “It forces you to challenge yourself and interact with colleagues that you might not have otherwise interacted with from various locations and departments within the company.”

Based on information collected, including a post-challenge survey, participants’ willingness and confidence to improve themselves increased significantly.

When asked, “How did this challenge impact your opinion of your company’s wellness efforts?” 73 per cent of participants said it had improved.

And 88 per cent of participants wanted to do the challenge again.

“The solution offers timely feedback, real-time analytics and is able to bring people closer together,” says Peter Hart, CEO of Rideau Recognition.

“More importantly, it leads to small behavioural changes that yield big savings and hikes in productivity, as well as stronger relationships among workers.”

Michael Moszberg is vice-president of wellness solutions for Vistance Wellness at Rideau Recognition in Montreal. He can be reached at michaelmoszberg@rideau.com or for more information, visit greatcorporatehealthchallenge.com.

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