Can Video Games Really Help Your Company Fitness Program?

If you’ve tried implementing a company fitness program and yet despite your best efforts to provide the educational information behind needed health changes, you’re still facing the reality of static employee wellness, you may be one of the many corporations in need of a corporate wellness program overhaul.  

For insight into human behavioral motivation, we turn to the pros of enjoyment addiction: gamers.  Video games have long held the attention of young and old alike, sometimes to a fault.  But as health conditions in our country become increasingly worse, experts have begun to wonder if aspects of video games might be able to play a role in company wellness and in turn, greater individual health.  

Social Gamification for Corporate Wellness


Dr. Michael Wu, a social scientist, has studied the elements of social gamification for years, producing the knowledge that these strategies, applied to the world of employee health, can increase involvement and improve results in a
company fitness program.

video game fitnessWhether you use an actual social gamification model to promote your program or not, you can benefit from the core principles upon which gamification success thrives.  Dr. Wu describes these principles as:

  • Engagement
  • Interaction
  • Competition
  • Collaboration
  • Awareness
  • Learning

Through behavioral studies and social experiments, we have come to understand the inherent need of every individual to belong to a group.  With this comes the desire to be respected and praised within the group.  Combining the social needs we all possess with the motivational principles within the gaming world, company wellness programs have begun to see surprising results.  

The gamification of a company fitness program creates a community of people with similar interests, providing a platform for the need to participate and receive affirmation, feedback, and support. This group promotes the initial engagement, provides tools and tips through member interaction, and gives praise and accolades for further involvement.  

So how do you implement this in a company fitness program?

 

  • Create a group of belonging – Whether you create teams within your employees, compete with another branch of your corporation, or simply create the community as one team working towards the same goal, your health and wellness program will see added benefits as you focus on creating a place of wellness where your employees feel they belong.
  • Implement Ideas of Gamification – Take tips from the gaming experts.  Utilize rewards, points, levels, challenges and various other methods taken directly from the world of gaming.  This builds upon the community aspect, creating a teamwork mindset and providing motivation through enjoyment.
  • Provide tools for success – With every challenge, your employees must know the specific steps necessary for success.  Make sure that challenges are small enough to succeed and clear enough to follow.  Provide the access to those challenges through online resources, technological devices, and workplace environment improvements.  

For help with the gamification of your company fitness program or for further questions concerning a wellness program, call Wellworks For You at 800.425.4657.

Photo: Tinxi / Shutterstock.com