The Gamification of Your Health... Yes, It's Fun

I recently discovered that my workplace offers free membership to the health game Keas and thought Iโ€™d test it out.

From a Forbes article explaining Keas:

Keas is a website that employees use in the workplace. They get points, badges and achievements for completing tasks, and support their coworkers in their achieving their goals. People donโ€™t cheat because they donโ€™t want to hurt their reputation. Adam Bosworth, formerly of Google Health, started Keas to help the couch potatoes. Not the marathon runners or triathletes, but the average out-of-shape people, the โ€œreal people.โ€

The premise sounded impractical to me because my personality just doesnโ€™t โ€œgetโ€ video games. I canโ€™t seem to get addicted to them like normal people do. But I started a new Keas account as part of my commitment to all things health and fitness, and itโ€™s actually pretty fun. Here are a few of my favorite features.

Take educational, five-question quizzes on health and wellness. I took a quiz on the calorie totals in popular holiday drinks, from eggnog to hot cocoa, and learned a few things! They have quizzes on almost everything, from ovarian cancer to dieting for multiple sclerosis.

Set weekly goals beyond what you can track in MyFitnessPal. For example, you can track goals like the number of times youโ€™ll eat fruits and veggies or how much sleep youโ€™ll get.

Connect with fellow employees (if you want to). As part of the siteโ€™s social networking features, you can also like or comment on status updates about peopleโ€™s activities, goals, or whatever. So far I havenโ€™t noticed any coworkers that I actually recognize using Keas, but hopefully more will join soon. I donโ€™t think Iโ€™ll take advantage of this as much as I will the more educational features on the site, but I was pleasantly surprised when my recent update received five likes. From people I didnโ€™t even know! How kind.

Not sure how many workplaces offer Keas yet, but itโ€™s a cool technological tool that aids in health and fitness tracking. There is massive potential out there for technology to help us become and remain healthier humans; Keas is just one example of it.