inside shape up the nation: looking back on week three

March 2, 2011

in reviews: products, services, books

this is the third in a series of reports on my experience with a client’s 10-week shape up the nation team challenge. shape up the nation is an online, social employee wellness solution. i don’t consult with my client on this strategy or provide any communications support, so it’s strictly unbiased, experience-based reporting.

last week i recalibrated my goals after discovering i wasn’t quite as active as i’d believed. i decided to look at my first two weeks as a baseline, and i humbly resubmitted my round-two goals of 370 exercise minutes and 98,560 steps—a 10% increase from my baseline.

we’re only one week into round two, but let’s see how i did. looking at only my data, i fell just shy of the mark with exercise minutes and (woohoo!) slightly surpassed my pedometer goal, thanks to a day with 22,263 steps. i might have done even better had my pedometer not had an unfortunate encounter with a public toilet, leaving me to cobble together other solutions for tracking my steps. i tried the cardiotrainer app until my new pedometer arrived in the mail, but i found it to be inaccurate.

Shape Up 2.21.11 exercise me

Shape Up 2.21.11 pedometer me

i considered getting cocky and ratcheting up my goals. instead, i’ll keep my goals unchanged for the rest of this round and make sure this past week wasn’t a fluke.

what about my client’s workforce overall? shape up the nation issued this email on monday about round-one stats:

“So far the average participant has lost 2 pounds, exercised for 474 minutes, and walked 116,520 steps! Together, employees have lost 4,662 pounds, exercised for 1,404,981 minutes, and walked 408,750,656 steps.”

i don’t know about you, but i look at these numbers and go wow, as i’m sure many of their employees did. it’s an inspiring amount of movement and weight loss. these emails go to only participants; i think they’d be encouraging and energizing communications for non participants, too.


i’d like the option to see my data by day so i could observe any trends.

i’m a remote worker for all intents and purposes. if there’s a lot of onsite rah-rahing and peer support taking place, i’m not privy to it. the only way to connect me to that type of interaction is through shape up the nation’s social experience—their individual and team challenges. anyone can issue a challenge and decide how to publicize it: by email or online.

i track my activity every day in shape up the nation’s paper logbook. then at the end of each week or each round, i enter that data online. it’s quick and easy, so putting it all in at one time isn’t time intensive. but, putting it in at one time means i’m not interacting with the system frequently, which, in turn, means i don’t view or issue online challenges. same for those employees who hand over their logbooks to a team captain to log.

shape up the nation offers a USB pedometer that automatically uploads your data to the shape up the nation website. if providing these to your employees is within your company’s budget, this distancing effect might not be as notable. if a traditional pedometer is what you’re using or planning to use, it’ll be important to plan how you’ll drive employees to the system with some regularity.


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