Three years ago, Software Engineering Professionals, a Carmel-based company, rewarded its employees with a trip to New Orleans for the company’s 25th anniversary. In conjunction with the trip, the firm set up a contest to see which group of employees could “walk to New Orleans” first using FitBit step trackers given to the staff.
Kelly Wilson, director of marketing and PR at SEP, said the staff loved competing for prizes and would walk the Monon Trail at lunch from their offices next to the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre. She said some people, who had sedentary computer jobs, even lost a considerable amount of weight.
Wilson said it was a fun team activity. But SEP engineers soon grew tired of adding up all the steps by hand from each person’s FitBit report — which generated an idea.
“We started to do it manually and realized, ‘Gosh, this is really a pain,’” she said. “We said maybe this is something we can build ourselves being software engineers.”
That’s when SEP created Health2Wealth. What started as internal software is now an application sold to businesses that can track step goals for office competitions and establish benchmarks and prizes. Health2Wealth is available in most app stores and at https://www.h2w.cc.
Wilson said SEP is letting companies use the app free for a business quarter, but an office subscription isn’t expensive. She said it costs $100 a year for offices with fewer than 10 employees. For 50 or fewer employees, the cost $300 a year. For 250 or fewer employees, the cost is $750 a year. Prices for larger companies can be negotiated.
Wilson said the idea is to make the software affordable for smaller companies that want a wellness program, which not only can help reduce insurance costs but also increase employee morale.
“We are promoting this as basic and easy to kick-start,” she said. “It’s important to get up and move, not just for health but for mental freshness, too, and this makes it easier for a smaller company to get started with a fun program.”
Ryan Schade, project manager and Health2Wealth participant, said the program was fun and easy to use.
“At DisneyWorld I actually came home and synced my FitBit most nights just to see my name at the top of the leaderboard because it’s not something I’d normally get to see,” he said.
Laura Terry, human resources manager at SEP and Health2Wealth plan administrator, said the program is popular and reports are easy to download.
“Finding ways to incorporate physical activity into our work life has been a challenge, and with Health2Wealth, I see people taking more walks, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and working from our tread desk,” she said.