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GE Makes Exercise Social By Adding Health Goals To Facebook Timelines

GE Makes Exercise Social By Adding Health Goals To Facebook Timelines
technology

Get fit by completing workouts posted by Olympic athletes; and become accountable to reaching fitness goals by having your progress broadcast to your social network.

Allie Walker
  • 7 july 2012

Instead of adding a life event like ‘graduated college’ or ‘got married’ or ‘became an organ donor,’ Facebook users can now add healthy milestones to their timeline- whether it’s completing a marathon, losing 10 pounds, or just getting off the couch. One of the biggest motivating factors when it comes to exercise is accountability; people often work out in groups to provide a layer of social motivation and sense of responsibility–miss a workout and your friends know, miss a workout and you’ve not only missed your goal, you’ve also messed up someone else’s workout.

GE takes this sense of social accountability to a new level with the new app HealthyShare; now instead of only a handful of people knowing when you make or miss a workout, all 600 of your closest Facebook friends will be able to track your progress. When users post fitness and diet goals and progress to the app, the information gets posted to their timeline, where friends can track their progress and cheer them on- or call them out- when they make or miss goals. Users are rewarded ‘points’ for logging progress, for liking a friend’s progress (or when a friend likes their progress), and for inviting friends to join them in a fitness challenge, and a leaderboard displays point count, turning working out into a friendly competition.

Launched to take advantage of Olympic fever, Facebook users can choose three paths on the app- Get Moving, Eat Healthier, or Work Out With An Olympian. With Get Moving, users are reminded that even simple things like walking can improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure. With Eat Healthier, users are encouraged to make healthier food choices, rewarded for swapping out sodas for water and fruit for candy. And with Work Out With An Olympian, users are given challenges from four Olympic athletes; working out with Kevin Durant (men’s basketball) includes windsprints and pushups, Alex Morgan’s (women’s soccer) challenge includes yoga and sit-ups, run and stretch with retired track star Michael Johnson, and lift weights with retired swim star Summer Sanders.

Although the app has an Olympic-heavy focus, GE is planning to evolve HealthyShare past the Olympics. Paul Adams, Global Head of Brand Design for Facebook, speaks to the potential of HealthyShare:

Many research studies show that our friends can help us live healthier lives. By supporting each other, we increase people’s motivation, helping them meet their goals of feeling better, and being healthier and happier. This new tool by GE is the first step in a vision to help people be healthier by interacting with their friends. The plan is to learn quickly from this release and continually improve this tool together in the coming months.

With HealthyShare, exercise gets both social and gamified. Extra layers of motivation to get fit are added by the public nature of the app–don’t get ‘shamed’ by not completing a workout, and tap into your competitive spirit by besting all of your friends in challenges… and have the opportunity to brag with friends that you’ve completed an ‘Olympic’ level workout!

Watch Michael Johnson explain HealthyShare below and sign-up here to start your own Olympic journey:

HealthyShare

PSFK has partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim to bring you a steady stream of inspiring news and ideas in the health and wellness space. Once each week, we will be posting an article on PSFK.com. If you would like to gain access to the full stream of content, please check out Boehringer Ingelheim’s Facebook page, where they are publishing a regular stream of inspiring and informative content.

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