employee wellness program

Play This Game at Work to Get Fit!

With the social network Keas, companies can use playful principles to encourage their employees to get healthy.

By Brittany Linn

Play This Game at Work to Get Fit!

Tap into the power of teamwork to get healthier.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—As children, we became addicted to playing our favorite games. Whether it was video games, board games, or even a round of Go Fish, it was easy to get caught up in the action and try as hard as we could to come out the winner. What if those same feelings could be brought back into our adult lives, and channeled toward being active and eating right?

That's the concept behind an employee wellness program called Keas (key-ahs), a Web-based social network launched in 2008 for businesses to empower their employees to become healthier through play. Employees join the gamelike program in teams, and pursue simple short-term goals, such as avoiding fast food or exercising for 20 minutes three times that week. Each time a small challenge is completed, the teams are given points. On, participants post their daily achievements on a Facebook-type community wall. With enough points, teams are rewarded prizes; typically $50 per team member, though some corporations have offered larger prizes.

What's with the name? "Most companies in the health arena have instantly forgettable names," says Keas cofounder Adam Bosworth, chief technology officer of its Web site. The former vice president of product management at Google Inc., Bosworth named his new venture Keas after a tropical-looking parrot that lives in the pine trees and snow of New Zealand. "The contrast between the Alpine setting and the colorful tropical-looking bird fascinated me," he says.

In Bosworth’s eyes, there are two main components to Keas that make it an effective employee wellness program: positive reinforcement, such as earning points and prizes, and social obligation. The latter comes into play because in a team, everyone must contribute. The combination of teamwork and peer pressure in the Keas program keeps up morale, Bosworth says. Want to try it? Go to to read testimonials from participants, and see examples of what your Keas profile page might look like.

If you’d like to get your company involved, check to find out if your employees are qualified.

Here are some ways you can put the principles of play into effect for yourself:

• Recruit some friends. Ask a friend or two to join you in your mission to become healthy. That way, the group as a whole can work together to get fit. Pooling your resources with friends can also help you save money; you might chip in for a personal trainer session or carpool to the farmer's market. Look for team members whose fitness level or health habits are similar to yours, and who are willing to make as much of a commitment as you are.

• Find your inner child. Think about the activities you enjoyed as a child, and try finding ways to replicate them. Swimming, cycling, even climbing trees or playing a game of tag may feel more like fun and less like a workout. The result: an exercise plan you'll stick with.

• Use positive reinforcement. It's all too easy to focus on what we do wrong. But Bosworth believes positive reinforcement—rewarding what we do right—is a much more powerful approach. Instead of punishing yourself for grabbing that second doughnut during the Monday morning rush, give yourself a pat on the back for avoiding it next time you walk past the bakery. Choose a lower-calorie, high-in-real-fruit parfait for breakfast, instead, and congratulate yourself for completing your challenge of the day. Also, try not to fret over the foods that aren’t the best choices for getting you in shape; instead embrace the foods that will make you look and feel better!

• Use Facebook to your advantage. Recruit some Facebook friends to form a team. Everyone can post their daily achievements, encouraging words, and invitations to events such as going for a group run or meeting for a healthy dinner.


Published on: July 20, 2011

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Nice, The closing comes into

Nice, The closing comes into play because in a team, anybody have to contribute.
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What we do in our compagny :

What we do in our compagny : weekly yoga session ! (sorry for my english... I am french!)

This advice was very helpful

This advice was very helpful for me. Thank's a lot. I'm form Odessa, Ukraine and we have a real problem with healthy life i my country. I need to drive from my apartment over half an hour just to get some naturalyy-grown food. I wish good luck to this web-site's time and more interesting and what more important- useful topics for us all) Regards, Short rentals

Facebook is the best thing to

Facebook is the best thing to steal a moment and try to meet new friends this is also the best way to keep everyone inform and enjoy every application that they offer for free. It is also a good form to invite everyone for a program or event using Facebook it will be a common way of conversation every real thing happen to your life that you want to share in public. But of course as you started using it you need to Add Friends so you have lots of members in the community. It is not a one time interaction with yourself but with hundreds or even thousands of members in the society. Just add them as neighbor if you are playing social games such as Castleville and other Zynga's best. So how much more for employee wellness program it will be as simple as clicking the add me button.

This was great to read. An

This was great to read. An employee wellness program really sounds like a great idea.
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I sit on working all day so

I sit on working all day so that i am always sick.Sometimes,i think of changing the job for another.Just reading this ,i know it is not the problem of the job but situation.We need working games.Baby Wipes


little game during work brings fun and releases the work stress, it also helps a better teamwork in the company :) condo
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