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Jawbone launches UP for Groups

As any teacher knows, iPads are incredible learning devices. They are a magnetic technology, created for consumers at home and now common in our classrooms.  Similarly, single-serve coffee makers are in a third of all workplace break rooms, even though they were initially designed for the kitchen counter.

The same principle is true with our UP system – it’s a great product designed for consumers that is now showing up in enterprise environments. Business and group leaders are seeing increasing numbers of employees bringing their own UP bands into the office (often the same employees that previously rejected the standard-issue pedometers from HR), and have been asking us how they can support and amplify this authentic health engagement.

It’s not just about the giving employees and teams the latest piece of technology as a gift. The real opportunity is to tackle the serious and growing obesity crisis in the U.S.—and across the globe—and create healthier, more productive, more engaged workplaces and organizations.

It’s clear there is a problem to be solved here. At Jawbone, we are always led by data. And with millions of people worldwide on the UP platform, we were able to compare step data during the working week to weekends. The results are clear and shocking.

As this chart for New York (a city known for working and playing hard) shows, activity dips dramatically while at the office. During work days, two thirds (66%) of all steps are taken outside of normal working hours. Weekend steps, on the other hand, are distributed much more evenly across the day. It’s a simple story—people move significantly less during the day, during the working week. So with more than half of our waking hours at the office and 69% of adults in the U.S. classified as overweight or obese, promoting healthy behaviors in the workplace is critical.

The good news is UP is already helping people live healthier lives. Nine out of 10 people using UP say the system is having an impact. We are helping people sleep better, move more, lose weight and be happier and healthier as a result. So we are delighted to announce today the launch of UP for Groups a new way for companies and organizations to collectively join the UP platform.

UP for Groups is designed for any group of 10 or more participants. We’ve been piloting it with large companies, smaller organizations, professional groups and others. From the school principal looking to encourage a healthier school staff, to the Fortune 500 CEO helping her entire workforce, UP for Groups is a unique wellness program built on a proven track record of behavior change.

How does it work?

The Jawbone UP system is built on our three-part behavior change framework: track, understand and act. We’ve developed the UP for Groups experience with those same principles. Individual participants engaged with the UP system track their sleep and activity. Organizers (whom we call administrators) and participants can then use the service to understand those group-level metrics—both in the moment and over time—and take action.

We support action at the group level through a variety of features including communications and challenges.  Group communication allows administrators to send customized messages and nudges directly to participants’ in-app feed. For example, an administrator could visit the steps page to see that there is a lull in activity around 3 p.m. on Thursdays and send a message to the group encouraging them to take a walking meeting every Thursday at that time.

Group challenges also enable administrators to create step-based challenges customized to the right level and duration for their group. Success is not measured by who walks the most steps—you don’t need a complex system to tell you who in your office is training for the marathon—but by celebrating the group with the highest number of participants completing the challenge.

Participants can view group analytics at any time, receive messages from the administrator directly in their App, and take part in group challenges. This is in addition to the behavior change toolset already present in the UP App (for example, Insights and Today I Will). People in the UP system with teammates are 10% more active than those who use it alone. Now, we can amplify these toolsets to drive even deeper engagement and behavior change. And UP for Groups goes beyond the workplace, beyond the 9-5, helping people eat, move and sleep better overall.

Privacy is a key concern for us, and as such, we have made the UP for Groups data both aggregated and anonymous. No organizer can see personal data unless they are explicitly granted permission as a teammate in the UP App. Most importantly, no data appears in the dashboard until at least five participants are syncing an activity (sleep or steps) simultaneously. So the smallest set of data an organizer can ever see is from five people.

What does success look like?

Success comes from combining individual behavior change and group culture change. With UP for Groups, we can bring our proven experience in individual behavior change to deliver collective impact. This is the opportunity to transform the health of companies, groups and larger organizations.

How well we sleep—and healthy we are —has a clear impact on our workplaces. So we want to inspire a health-focused conversation in the workplace, while encouraging everyone to strive for a better work-health balance. It also comes from trying new techniques to inspire healthier behaviors. That could mean walking meetings, using the stairs rather than the elevator, healthier food options, and standing desks. Let us know what works in your group.

We’re really excited about the potential of UP for Groups. For more information, or to sign up online, go to groups.jawbone.comGroups can choose from UP24, UP Move, or even the latest UP3— and there are significant discounts for bulk orders.  As of now, UP for Groups is available in limited markets.

Our workplaces don’t have to be unhealthy, and we know we can change people’s behavior for the better. UP for Groups is a great way to start your journey to a healthier and happy team.

About The Author

Andrew Rosenthal

Andrew J. Rosenthal is the Group Manager, Wellness and Platform at Jawbone, focusing on the Developer Platform and the company’s offerings in group settings. Previously, Andrew was at Massive Health and a co-founder of happier.com. Find him on Twitter @rosenthal.