Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pitting Employees Against Each Other … for Health

Wilde Matthews, Anna. "Pitting Employees Against Each Other … for Health." The Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2012.

From the article: "In the effort to make workers healthier, employers and insurers have dangled carrots. They've threatened with sticks. Now, they are trying games.

A growing number of workplace programs are borrowing techniques from digital games in an effort to encourage regular exercise and foster healthy eating habits. The idea is that competitive drive—sparked by online leader boards, peer pressure, digital rewards and real-world prizes—can get people to improve their overall health. …

A survey of employers released in March by the consulting firm Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health found that about 9% expected to use online games in their wellness programs by the end of this year, with another 7% planning to add them in 2013. By the end of next year, 60% said their health initiatives would include online games as well as other types of competitions between business locations or employee groups.

Researchers say using videogame-style techniques to motivate people has grounding in psychological studies and behavioral economics." Read more

See also

Performance in an Era of Uncertainty, a report conducted by Towers-Watson and the National Business Group on Health, 2012