Games Put The Fun in Serious Fitness
Did you know that there are techniques that help you lead and guide people without them realizing that you’re doing it? You may already be using this method without even realizing it. It’s called gamification, and it helps to nudge humans in the direction you want them to go.
You can use gamification to inspire your members and staff to get better results, complete actions where they tend to drop out, and even help reduce the cost of healthcare for companies.
What Is Gamification?
Turning your goals and objectives into games motivate people by making work a little more fun. When people can see their fitness goals, they make that final push when it matters. When you can see the standing of your competitors displayed in real time, you compete with more energy and purpose. You can achieve many things by turning work into games, such as:
- Filling out online profiles more consistently
- Posting to fitness competition leaderboards
- Motivating club members to improve their training results
- Inspiring sales teams to hit sales targets
- Getting to the next level in career development
- Making wearables fun by capturing physiological data
Games are something to talk about, to share with friends and other competitors. Could you imagine a sports event where nobody tracks scores, and you can’t see what’s going on? Without the basics of gaming, it wouldn’t be fun at all. The point of sports is participating and witnessing the event, recording results, and sharing the gameplay.
Gamification applies the principles of games and sports to activities that might be a little dull otherwise. When you are using a website or digital app, you may notice the progress bars for such exciting tasks as filling out your profile, which is drudgery. It’s enough fun if it moves a progress bar from 95% to 100% that you’re more likely to do it.
Small Rewards Add Up to Big Success
Nudging you to do things are the reasons developers add bars and things like badges for completing activities. For example, a popular audiobook app gives you badges for doing the things that make full use of the app.
When you complete a book, you get a badge. When you listen every day for a week you get another badge, and so on. The tiny bit of satisfaction of a symbolic reward keeps you going and facilitates engagement that supports their business model. Why not give out something like badges for attending the gym or doing the things that give life to your fitness club?
The Nudge Psychology
Like Behavioral Economics, gamification takes a new look at what people are inclined to do and nudges them in the right direction. Gamification is the same sort of behavior influencing set of incentives.
Kahneman and Tversky were two Israeli economists who founded Behavioral Economics. They had the insight that people are not rational actors. Instead, people do things based on feelings, heuristic rules of thumb and outright superstition.
Corporate Wellness And Wearables
Wellness programs have had a new lease on life from digital technology and the ability to track performance. Gamification and this newfound transparency mean that corporate wellness programs can achieve a new, higher standard of consistency and effectiveness.
Making a game of fitness gives the participants the motivation to follow through and keep up with the group. In wellness small percentages matter; when employees improve health and reduce their dependence on health services by a few percentage points it can lead to substantial savings.
Lead With A Nudge
You’ve probably noticed that the last few steps of any effort can be more difficult than the thousands that got you to that point. Whether it’s a workout or writing a book getting that last few steps to the finish line can be tough.
As a fitness professional and club owner it’s up to you to take on the leadership burden and get your team, staff, or membership over whatever line is right for them. Use gamification and inspire people to go the extra yard, win the game, and make the difference in life and achievement.
Fagan, Lawrence. Can Client Programming Deliver Corporate Wellness?. https://blog.gyminsight.com/5183-can-client-programming-deliver-corporate-wellness/.
Sampson, Alain. An Introduction to Behavioral Economics . https://www.behavioraleconomics.com/resources/introduction-behavioral-economics/ (accessed November 23, 2018).
Swaney, Ronda. Corporate Wellness Programs: The Benefits of Gamification. July 6, 2018. https://insights.samsung.com/2018/07/06/corporate-wellness-programs-the-benefits-of-gamification/ (accessed November 23, 2018).