SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With rising healthcare and insurance costs, and lost productivity due to absenteeism, workplace wellness programs are rapidly moving from a “nice to have” to a business imperative, and it is no longer acceptable for only 15% of employees to engage in them. San Francisco-based Keas, the health and wellness company co-founded by technology innovator Adam Bosworth, the architect and former head of Google Health, today announced its new corporate health and wellness solution that leverages “The Power of Play” in an online social game that delivers unprecedented sustained employee health engagement rates averaging 70% every week. Also, in 10 pilot programs at companies including Quest Diagnostics, Pfizer and Progress Software, 30-40% of the participants posted every week to the game’s newsfeed.
With its new online social game, Keas is bringing into the corporate wellness market the gamification of health, which Gartner identifies as one of six key areas in the rapidly emerging gamification trend. Describing gamification as “using game mechanics to influence human behavior in nongame environments,” Gartner notes that gamification turns “everyday, real-world activities into more pleasurable experiences by recreating the stimuli that occur in game worlds,” and ultimately results in increased engagement and changed behaviors. (Gamification Primer: Life Becomes a Game)
“We’ve found that turning health and wellness into a game for people results in massively increased engagement and improved health behaviors,” said Adam Bosworth, co-founder and CTO of Keas. “Our new corporate wellness solution is built entirely around what we call ‘The Power of Play.’ We took the two things today that really get people involved and hooked—games and social networking—and created a social game that is something like Farmville-plus-Facebook-meets-health. Now, getting healthy becomes fun and social, people really get into it, and the end result is healthier, happier and more productive employees.”
Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com and a Keas advisor said of Keas’ new game, “Keas is making the next big enterprise application, employee health, as easy and fun as Zynga and Facebook by using game mechanics."
The Keas online social game utilizes game mechanics, social networking, rewards and recognition, and team-based support to engage employees and inspire them to adopt healthier habits. Individuals set their personal health goals, select weekly, actionable “To Do’s” related to their health goals and form teams of six to engage in numerous fun activities that will improve their health and earn them points leading to rewards, status and recognition. The real-time newsfeed where participants report their activities and accomplishments to their team members and their entire workplace community is a key factor in motivating employees to play their way to health.
In 12-week pilot programs with employees at Quest Diagnostics, Pfizer, Novartis, Delta Dental, Investors Savings Bank and other companies participating in the Morris County Chamber of Commerce “100 Days to Health” challenge, an average of 70% of the people who start to play the Keas game remain actively involved in it every week for the duration of the challenge. Additional results across the 10 pilot programs included:
- Keas’ viral invitation consistently drew in excess of 60% of employees registering to play the game
- Among the people who reported weight loss, the average weight loss was 5.5 pounds
- The number of people reporting that they were physically active increased 50%
- The percentage of people eating fruits and vegetables jumped from 37% to 73%
- 50% reported an increase in their consumption of whole grains
- 90% of all users said they would play the game again and 93% said they would recommend it to their colleagues
“As the world’s leading provider of diagnostic testing, and a seven-time winner of the National Business Group on Health's Best Employer for Healthy Lifestyles award, Quest Diagnostics recognizes the value of programs that encourage employees to actively manage and engage with their health," said David Norgard, vice president, Human Resources, Quest Diagnostics. “In our pilot program with Keas, we saw first hand how effective the Power of Play can be in helping employees adopt healthier behaviors and achieve their personal health goals."
According to the CDC, an estimated 75% of the nation’s $2.4 trillion annual health-care spend is associated with chronic disease, 80% of which are preventable through lifestyle and behavior change. To help individuals live healthier lifestyles and avoid or work to overcome chronic disease such as obesity, diabetes type II, heart disease and high blood pressure, the Keas social game focuses on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, cholesterol and weight management.
Keas has found that its game supports and contributes to a company-wide culture of fun, productivity, action and wellness, and includes all employees, not just those who are dealing with chronic disease or specific health challenges. The Keas online game is easy to use for employees and effortless for human resources departments to deploy and roll out. There is no IT involvement or support required, and the employees themselves effectively manage program recruitment through the use of the Keas viral invitation.
“Besides our obvious and shared goal of helping our employees get healthier, a key reason so many of our member companies joined our ‘Morris County Chamber 100 Days to Health’ challenge—and our employees have had such a great experience with it—is Keas’ ease-of-use, the opportunity to form teams and the social-media factor, all of which provide the stickiness for engagement,” said Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey.
An employee participating in one of the pilots reported to her teammates in the live newsfeed, “Being consistent with my ‘To Dos’ has resulted in a 6 pound weight loss over the last month.” Another posted, “I learned a lot in the past months and it sounds like everyone came out a winner in this program. It’s amazing how easy it is to make different life choices. I wish you all the best of luck hanging onto the healthier you.”
To launch its new game, Keas invites employers interested in helping their employees be healthier, happier and more productive to visit its website at www.keas.com and start playing the free trial of the Keas health and wellness social game. Winners will earn a 12-week Keas program free-of-charge for their company.
Keas is a health and wellness company that leverages “The Power of Play” to achieve unprecedented levels of employee health engagement. Utilizing game mechanics, social networking, rewards and team-based support, Keas motivates and empowers individuals to adopt and maintain healthy habits and lifestyles. Keas’ new social game is an online employee wellness solution that supports a healthier, happier workforce. Founded in 2008 by Adam Bosworth and George Kassabgi, Keas is headquartered in San Francisco and has received funding from Ignition Partners, Atlas Venture and partners Quest Diagnostics and Pfizer, Inc. More information is available at www.keas.com