the 3 waves

Wave i

the 1970s & 1980s

The 70s were about more than long hair and short shorts. It was the decade we started thinking more about taking responsibility for our own health.

During the 1970s and into the 1980s people participated in jogging, masters races, organized sports, and a wide range of workout formats.

This was a bottom-up phenomenon, with people simply wanting to get healthy and fit. Gym memberships sprung up, and you could find a 10 km race in almost any city.

By 1977, a record 87.5 million American adults aged 18 plus participated in athletic activities. The most visible sign of this time was the 8 million joggers that took to the roads, paths, and parks in the United States. Meanwhile in Canada, we estimate there were about 1 million active runners and joggers.

Wave ii

the wellness movement

Seeing the bottom-line benefits of having a healthy work force, large companies and organizations began to look at programs for their staff.

During the 1990s, "corporate challenges" became popular, and some companies began to invest in so-called wellness programs, gym memberships, and/or other health-related expenditures.

Corporate "wellness" is now a multi-billion dollar industry. After many years of analysis, most experts report that there appears to be a 3:1 dollar return on investement - for every dollar spent helping employees get and stay healthy an organization can expect to see three dollars in benefits in the form of reduced absenteeism and higher productivity.1

Today many major organizations have staff dedicated to improving employee health and fitness. A 2013 survey showed that in 2014 employers are planning to spend an average of almost $600 per employee on 'wellness-based incentives' 2.

Even though the industry is alive and well, however:3

  • 63% of organizations cited lack of interest in their wellness programs
  • 50% cited insufficient staff resources
  • 48% said their programs were not engaging high (health) risk employees.

So there is still some room for improvement...

WAVEiii logo

i plus ii equals iii

WAVEiii is the natural evolution of the first two waves. It combines the best of personal fitness and overall wellness culture with 4 new key features:

  • Teamwork
  • Friendly competition
  • Personal metrics
  • Online social connections

Teamwork

Bring your employees together.

Just because your workforce is global doesn't mean they can't pull together as a team. WAVEiii makes it easy, no matter where they are in the world.

By setting an overall goal for the event, everyone instantly becomes a member of your corporate team.

Encouraging players to form their own teams forges strong and lasting alliances that can go beyond the 30 days of a WAVEiii event.

Competition

Competition leads to growth.

In business,if you want to be competitive you have to grow. The same can be said at the personal level - real competition spurs personal growth.

The friendly competitive nature of a WAVEiii event encourages players to seek out their limits in order to contribute to their team's success.

Metrics

A technology-driven lifestyle.

Measuring personal activities has moved well beyond recording our morning runs in a journal or spreadsheet. It's not unusual now to record multiple aspects of our daily lives and to track our progress using online tools or smart phone apps.

Every WAVEiii event comes with powerful data visualizations built in, so all players can track their progress and how they compare with everyone else, either individually or by team, city, country, as well as by corporate units like Divisions or Branches.

Connections

Because social media.

Gone are the days of the solitary distance runner entering results into a journal or spreadsheet. We now expect to be able to connect with distant friends or colleagues online and to share & compare whatever we want.

WAVEiii gives players an easy way to make connections and to compare results throughout the event.

Sources:

1. Harvard Meta-Analysis
2. Society for Human Resource Management website. The survey was completed by Fidelity Investments and the National Business Group on Health.
3. Study by National Worksite Health Promotion

Banner / Footer by Moose Allain. You can find him on Twitter at @MooseAllain or on his website at worldofmoose.com.

Rotating banner images:


Woman runner: Elaine Casap
Mountain climbers:Vincent Burkhead
Water & sky: Susanne Feldt
Runner silhouette: Pablo Garcia