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Using gamification to help employees be healthier and more productive

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Using gamification to help employees be healthier and more productive

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Whilst the impact of exercise on our wellbeing is fairly well known, a recent Australian study highlights just how quick physical activity is at exerting an influence on our mood and wellbeing.

The results revealed that those who went for a walk on their lunch break were less stressed at work than their non-walking peers.  They also reported feeling more enthusiastic and relaxed about their work, even on the days where they didn’t walk.

What’s more, this impact was significant later int he day.  On walking days, participants reported revealing a significant boost to their mood and enthusiasm in the afternoon.

Encouraging employees to walk

Of course, prising people from their desk to go for a stroll is often easier said than done.

Maybe zombies could help get you up and on your feet.  A new game has been created to help gamify the process of getting us moving during our work day.

Called Step Ahead: Zombies, the game encompasses a walking challenge whereby players have to escape from the zombie invasion by walking (in the real world).

Organizations can enroll onto the program and encourage employees to participate, either with a smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Employees are divided into teams who are charged with getting to the safe house as quickly as possible, with progress measured by the average step count across the team.  So having a slacker on your team can severely harm your chances of success.

If you fail to get to the safe house, you’re eaten alive by the zombies, and thus are enrolled onto the zombie team.

If players have the right equipment, they can use a range of wearable devices to input their steps into the game, whilst a healthy diet can also help to boost resistance to zombie attack.

Initial results seem very positive, with one organization charting a rise in employee engagement of 20 percent among participating employees.

With walking linked by research not just to better mood and engagement but also productivity and performance levels, it’s a nice way to gamify employees onto their feet.

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