At TextMarks, we work hard all day but we also tend to work while sitting in front of our computers. Several hours of sitting! Studies show sitting for long periods of time comes with some pretty serious health risks.
We tried treadmill desks, standing desks and frequent reminders to stand up more.
Ultimately, the main issue affecting our employee health at work is not moving enough. According to AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2018 Update, only 22% of adults meet federal Physical Activity Guidelines. April is being promoted as Move More Month by the American Heart Association and NHLB, so we decided to commit to more physical activity by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
To get to our office on the eighth floor, we have to climb 7 flights. Nothing gets the heart pumping like climbing 7 flights of stairs!
As a SMS service, we are of course including text messaging in our quest for improved employee health and wellness. Here is how we are using text messaging to help us move more at work.
Using technology doesn’t have to be complex, so long as it helps get people moving. Not everyone has a FitBit or an AppleWatch, nor do we share the same fitness apps on our phone. Most everyone with a phone, however, can send and receive text messages.
We decided to use a simple text-to-tally solution that keeps track of how many flights of stairs we take. Every time we climb up some flights, for instance, we text our keyword “1MORE” to our shared short code, an SMS autoresponder prompts us to reply with the number of flights we took, and our flights are recorded in a spreadsheet. Every row in the spreadsheet contains the date, time stamp, mobile phone number and reported flights of our employees.
To encourage healthy competition, we also have an employee leaderboard set up to check on where we stand. (I’ve got a ways to go.)
Texting Motivational Nudges
In addition to using text to keep track of our flights of stairs, text is used to motivate. Whether it be motivational quotes, short words of encouragement, or links to health and fitness articles, texting nudges us to take that one small, extra step. (For more examples on how SMS is used to “nudge” people towards desired outcomes, read how Stanford used it to increase parent involvement in early education and how Imperial College of London and Department of Health used SMS to reduce missed hospital appointments.)
We’re mid-way through our fitness challenge this month. I’ll be sure to highlight our winner on our Instagram page in May.
What does your company do to motivate employees to move more? Share your comments!
Interested in learning more about using text messaging for employee motivation and engagement? Call us at 800-696-1393.