Reward Programs

Missed Opportunity: Physical Activity Rewards Program

physical activity, rewards program, employer's programs

I learned this week that I’ve made a mistake. I didn’t take the time to learn all the details of the changes to my benefit package in 2015, and discovered that I haven’t taken full advantage of a physical activity program.

Each year, my employer offers several healthy living programs. Employees can elect to participate in two of the options, earning a $150 rebate for each of them. One of the programs promotes physical activity and can be utilized two ways:

  • Track physical activity with the requirement of being physically active 4 days a week for 10 weeks. Once the requirements are met, a $150 rebate would be included in my next paycheck.
  • Receive a Fitbit One or Fitbit Flex for free. Employees can then use the Fitbit to help them reach their fitness goals.

Obviously the point of the program is to encourage participants to become physically active. The incentive given is either $150, or a free Fitbit. While getting a free Fitbit was enticing, I had every intention of tracking my activity and earning $150. What I found out this week from a coworker is that I really didn’t have to choose.

The description as I gave above regarding $150 or getting a freeĀ  Fitbit is incomplete. If I would choose the Fitbit option, I could upload my activity from the Fitbit tracker to my employer’s healthy living website to earn points. Those points can be exchanged for rewards.

I browsed the rewards catalog and found a rich selection of electronics, small appliances, office supplies and even other fitness gear. One thing that caught my eye was Amazon gift cards.

A plan formed in my head.

I filled out the form, and ordered my free Fitbit. As a person who runs over 30 miles a week, I would imagine those points will accumulate pretty quickly. My goal is to earn $150 in Amazon credit by Christmas time. If I can meet my goal, I will have actually achieved three things:

  1. Continue to be physically active for the rest of the year
  2. Received a FREE Fitbit AND earned $150 (double program incentive!)
  3. Have $150 I can spend on a Christmas present for my wife

I’ve wasted seven months of opportunity because I didn’t fully research the physical activity program incentive offered by my employer. But I plan to do everything I can to make up for it in the last five months of the year. Honestly right now I have no idea whether earning $150 in rewards in 5 months is feasible because I don’t know what the activity to points conversion is. But I’m about to find out!


Image courtesy of tuelekza at

Does your employer offer incentives to be physically active, or to improve your health? Are you taking full advantage of them?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock Kernin

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