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Our Team Puts Social Wellness to the Test

In our last blog post, we discussed social wellness models and their potential to motivate people to achieve personal health and fitness goals.  But rather than just “talk the talk,” we thought it would be interesting to tell you about a few of our employees who have decided to put one platform to the test.  At stake?  $10,000.

Our social wellness challenge

Although we’ve seen and experimented with a number of social wellness platforms, our competitors at HNI decided to enroll in a challenge posed by HealthyWage called “the Match Up.”  The Matchup is a 90-day weight loss challenge where five-person teams compete to win a total of $18,000 in cash prizes, starting with $10,000 for first place.  The big bucks go to the team who loses the greatest percentage of body weight, up to 16.6%.  (The percentage cap is designed to make sure the prize goes to a team with healthy weight loss, not crash dieters.)

The fee for each team member is $20/month to enter, and participants weigh in at a health club or doctors office at the beginning and end of the competition.  Participants can also enter solo challenges simultaneously to lose 10% of their weight or to reach a healthy BMI, and they can win additional cash if they hit those individual goals.

Anyone is welcome to enter HealthyWage competitions, whether their employer sponsors it or not, but there are discounts/incentives for companies that sign up multiple teams.    

The competitors from HNI

social wellness

Anthony Fioretti, Executive Director

Anthony (the guy doing the push up) is our Executive Director of Business Development.  He heard about the Matchup on Twitter and thought it would be fun to give it a try at HNI.  Anthony is shooting for that 16.6% that will earn the team the first place honor, but at a minimum he wants to drop at least 20 pounds during the challenge.  

Anthony’s been wearing a pedometer for a couple months as part of an ongoing personal wellness effort and has averaged 4,000 steps on a typical day.  To help the team take home the $10,000 prize, he’s going to try to up this to 10,000 a day – whether by parking at the far corner of the lot or walking laps at the grocery store (no really, he’s done that.)

Amy Engebretson, Account Executive

Amy (on the left) is an Account Executive in our benefits department.  Amy's already lost 30 pounds over the past couple of months, but she's planning to keep up her momentum and drop another 16.6% of body mass during the Matchup challenge.  One of the biggest motivators for her personal health and wellness journey is her role at HNI.  She's been inspired to build a healthier lifestyle in part to bolster her personal credibility when talking to employee groups about wellness.

"This has been a challenge for me my whole life," said Amy of her efforts. "Working in this field, I know that one of the biggest motivators can be having someone speak to you with a success story. This is an opportunity for me to make a lifestyle change for myself but also to share this experience with others through what I do at HNI."   

The competitive factor is huge for Amy.  In addition to competing for the top prize, she also has a personal bet going with Anthony -- who ever loses the greatest percentage during the 90-day Matchup will cover the other person's entrance fee! 

Gwen Snyder, Account Executive

Gwen (on the right) is also an Account Executive in our benefits department.  To help her team win the Matchup, she's incorporating more physical activity into her day.

"I now schedule exercise time on my work calendar every day.  It helps keep it on my mind throughout the day and reminds me to get out of the office in time to go work out," explains Gwen.  "I'm chained to my desk -- at work and at home -- and it's too easy otherwise to say I'm too busy to fit in exercise.  You need to force yourself to take the time."

Gwen also recruited her sister, Lisa Van Dyck, and her friend, Stacy Cibulka, to bring the team to a group of five for the Matchup!  (They're not pictured in the shot above, but they're both registered nurses working in the healthcare industry and are equally committed to bringing home the $10,000 prize!) 

Stay tuned for the results of our social wellness challenge!

We’ll keep you posted on Team HNI’s health and wellness journey and let you know how they fare in the Matchup!  

Want to learn more about how to incorporate social wellness into your benefits package? We discussed this creative benefits strategy along with nine other ways to help your organization control benefits costs during our HNI U event on "Innovative Benefits Strategies." Listen to the workshop recording here.


Topics: Transportation Construction HR / Employee Benefits Manufacturing