Wellness Games Encourage a Fitter Workforce

Online competitions spur workers to get healthy
Some employers offer money or rewards, but the results are similar when the only prize is bragging rights Illustration by Jack Reynolds

This spring the city of Charlotte challenged its employees to log their workouts on a website that tallied points for each department. Trash talk flew over e-mail and spilled into the hallways of City Hall. If Human Resources was in the lead, “Budget would come back with a reply-all, saying ‘We’ll walk at lunch,’ ” recalls Christina Fath, the city’s wellness administrator. A total of 469 municipal employees took part in the six-week challenge—nearly double the number of participants in years past. This year’s group logged 8,800 hours of exercise—equal to almost half an hour per employee per day.

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