UP for Groups - The Jawbone Blog

Inspiring Behavior Change at the Group Level

If you’re managing a team, company or organization, you – like many other team leaders and HR professionals – are likely trying to inspire healthier behaviors within your group. Increasingly, we see companies investing in healthier food options, organizing lunch-hour walks and subsidizing gym memberships and wellness perks. While these investments are well-intentioned, how can we know if they’re effective? Can we measure the collective lifestyle improvements across a team?

The crude reality is that we typically cannot – 76% of companies surveyed simply don’t know if their wellness efforts are making a difference. This challenge that comes with measuring the success of group health and wellness programs is precisely why we developed UP for Groups: a solution that connects the investments made in group health to measurable outcomes, thus allowing an organization to double-down on initiatives that improve behaviors – and abandon those that don’t.

One upside is that when you are actually able to link your health investments to health outcomes, you may make surprising discoveries around how to optimally allocate your wellness budget. It may not be the oft-implemented HRA, or even the annual wellness fair that actually pays big dividends; rather, we’ve found that the sum of many little things as opposed to a few grand gestures is the most effective approach to group-level behavior change. To that point, research shows that people eat half as much candy from opaque containers as they do from clear ones, and that adding point-of-decision prompts like music or artwork in stairwells can increase stair use by as much as 39%.

In your quest to promote wellness within your team, one thing is certain: groups matter, and the science is unequivocal on that. We know that socially connected adults are healthier and live longer than their more isolated peers, and we see similar proof points across the UP system – users with even just one teammate use UP more and walk 10% more on average than users without teammates. That outcome is magnified as we look at users with two or more teammates, three or more teammates, etc.

The importance of groups is naturally realized when we look more holistically at the factors that influence a person’s health: Government policy (e.g. physical education requirements in schools, taxes on cigarettes), your environment and of course relationships, community and culture.

At the individual level, UP has already proven its ability to drive behavior change repeatedly and at scale. For example, test results show UP users walked 27% more than average after accepting a Thanksgiving challenge, and logged 23 more minutes of sleep than average after accepting a bedtime ‘Today I Will’.

UP for Groups - Behavior Change

At the group level, UP for Groups adds another powerful layer of behavior changing tactics and tools, leveraging group dynamics and relationships as a source of guidance, inspiration and competition to motivate members. At its core, the system consists of the UP fitness tracker and UP App. Adding the UP for Groups software layer introduces new group challenges to spark friendly competition, effective group communication tools to encourage camaraderie and deliver hyper-relevant messages, and rich group analytics and engagement metrics provide insight into how your team is doing collectively.

UP for Groups is optimized for any organization that strives for work-health balance; any group that believes in optimizing for productivity, creativity and better decision-making – and it’s already been very well received. Not only does it serve as the aforementioned link between health investments and respective measurable outcomes, it’s also simply more engaging and fun than traditional corporate wellness solutions. After 90 days with UP, users open their UP App an average of 21 times per week, which is seven times more than the typical health and wellness app (think apps for blood glucose monitoring). Layer on the integrated tools and community-building web interface introduced with UP for Groups, and you have a scalable solution that feels natural, fun, and exciting for every group member, whether they’re an active group leader or a remote employee.

To learn more, visit UP for Groups.

About The Author

Michael Smouha

PM @jawbone where he focuses on improving population health by crafting experiences that leverage group dynamics of competition, encouragement and comparison. Previously was @cisco, a marketing strategy guy and founder of a digital music startup. Reach out to @mikesmouha to learn more about group wellness.