What I learned from the @Fitbit Community Manager at #octribe about Walking Communities | Beth's Blog

What I learned from the @Fitbit Community Manager at #octribe about Walking Communities

Happy Healthy Nonprofit, Walking

Earlier this week, I was honored to present at the #octribe (online community tribe) meet up “Walking Communities: Fit Fanatics Online and Off” with Allison Leahy from Fitbit who manages fitbit online communities.    The #octribe meetup was hosted at TechSoup and organized by long time colleague Susan Tenby who has supported this community of practice for ten years.   The participants include a mix of people from nonprofit and for-profit online communities – and it is an excellent opportunity to learn and network with peers, not to mention have healthy food and drink, like Hint Water.

Allison Leahy gave a presentation about their online community strategy.    Part of the reason that people become fitbit fanatics (I’m one) is because of the social aspect.    There are many opportunities for people to connect, discuss, and share about their walking experience and tracking it with a fitbit.  More importantly,  many people are more motivated by connecting with others on Fitbit that can lead to improved health outcomes – whether becoming more fit, dropping weight, getting enough sleep.    For example, for every friend you accept on Fitbit, you will walk 1,000 steps more per friend up to 7 friends.   This is crowdsourced motivation at its finest!   More tips and examples on the FitBit blog.

I shared my story about how I became addicted to walking and better health and the role that my fitbit has played in that.  I also shared some tips and information about integrating more standing and walking at nonprofit jobs, which tend to be desk jobs.  Finally, I shared some examples of nonprofit walking communities, for example, “Take a Walk.”   I documented resources, photos, and tweets from meet up here.

We also walked the talk, taking folks out on a walk around the San Francisco neighborhood.    When we came back, Allison and I raffled off some FitBits asking folks to write down how they planned to incorporate walking into their work life.   Here’s some of the ideas, including the three winners.

1.   Advocate for a bring your dog to work policy because they need walks

2.   Use walking as a way to on-board new employees and introduce them to other team members

3.   Offer a “walker” of the month wall where the winner gets a shirt with their monthly step count and a small bottle of Johnny Walker.

4.   Give latte awards for walking and talking while meeting

5.  Use tracker/fitbit to challenge people at work

6.  Encourage co-workers to get up from their desk and talk to people rather than email or phone or IM

7.  Make tracking steps an office game

8. Print documents at printer on other floor of office or furthest away from my desk

9. Turn our stand up meetings into walking meetings

10. Take a walk after lunch and plan the second half of my day

11.  Do walking meetings to coach my staff or one-on-ones

12. Hold brainstorming meeting as a walking meeting

13.  Do walking meetings one-on-one with people we serve to learn more about their needs

14.  Walk to work at least 2x a day

15.  Fitbit friend at least 7 people

16.  Work up the nerve to ask my colleagues at work to do walking meetings

17.  Walking conference calls

How are you incorporating walking into your work?  How can you create or connect with a community to help sustain your motivation and help change your habits?

One Response

  1. Heather says:

    I’m inspired! And I just joined the “Take a Walk” group on FB. Thank you!