Friday, September 19, 2014

ShapeUp Brings Employees Together to Get Healthy

ShapeUp is a wellness platform that uses the power of trusted social networks to promote employee well-being. Founded by Dr. Rajiv Kumar and Dr. Brad Weinberg, ShapeUp is based on the concept of health being a social phenomenon. The people around us influence our health, and vice versa. We are more likely to exercise and eat healthy when our friends, family, and co-workers do so. On the flip side, it is more challenging to maintain healthy habits when everyone around us is snacking on donuts and watching TV all day. Both health and unhealthy behaviors are contagious within social networks.

ShapeUp aims to improve the well-being of individuals and populations by bringing folks together for social support, accountability, and motivation. This approach, called Social Wellness, is the backbone of ShapeUp's healthy challenges. There are team challenges that are run as 6- or 8-week competitions, weekly bonus challenges that are designed to introduce participants to new healthy behaviors, and spontaneous user-generated challenges where participants challenge their colleagues to one-off wellness tasks. All challenges seek to motivate workers through healthy competition, unite staff, and inspire significant life changes.

ShapeUp's online tracking interface lets participants monitor their progress in any kind of activity they want to track, whether it's pushups per day, exercise minutes, or number of hours slept every night. Participants can access their tracking data online, on their mobile phone, or via text. ShapeUp has partnered with to offer real-time, real-world rewards to users. Employer can fully customize their incentive parameters including achievement thresholds, reward amounts, frequency, points, and rewarded behaviors.

ShapeUp counts Amica, Aetna, Raytheon, GTECH, HP, Paychex, KeyBank, and Cleveland Clinic among its customers. Over the past seven years, the Providence, Rhode Island-based company has made wellness fun and helped individuals lose more than a million pounds of weight.

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