I’m not a guy who lives for “trends.” The latest app, what’s hot on YouTube, the top pop artist of the day…I could care less. So when I heard about Gamification as a tool to help companies better engage their employees and customers, I really wasn’t all that excited about it. After all, bringing Gamification elements to application systems to supposedly improve employee engagement and productivity…I mean, really? Is this what technology has brought us to? And then it dawned on me that I had already bought into Gamification in my own life.
As an aging athlete and fitness guy, I try to hit the gym regularly to keep the pounds off and stave off father time. Lately, however, the results just haven’t been what I wanted them to be and I was losing some of my motivation and enthusiasm for working out. Then I was introduced to a new nationwide fitness alternative called OrangeTheoryFitness.
As I entered the OrangeTheory facility near my home, it was noticeably different than any fitness center I had ever been to. Orange lighting, orange rowing machines, orange walls, orange, orange everywhere and big flat screen TVs throughout the workout area. You don’t go to OrangeTheory to work out; you go there at a designated time and you take a one-hour class with 20 to 40 other people at the same time. Each class is led by a coach and you are required to wear a cardiac monitor the entire time you are in your class. As you work out, your cardiac performance level is displayed on the big screen TV’s giving you real-time feedback. There are five levels of “cardiac performance” you can achieve as you work out but the key “focus level” is the Orange Zone which represents 85% of your maximum heart rate. The goal is to maintain your heart rate in the Orange Zone for 12-20 minutes of your one-hour workout which, in theory, promotes extra calorie burn for up to 36-hours post-workout. Following each class, each member receives a personalized e-mail with their performance review from the class.
Essentially, OrangeTheoryFitness has built their entire business on the concept of using Gamification to motivate people like me to push ourselves and achieve a higher level of physical performance. By displaying real-time, cardiac performance data for us to see throughout our entire workout, members push themselves to physical limits they otherwise would not achieve on their own. Guess what? It works! In my OrangeTheory workout classes I am working out harder than I have worked out at any time in the past ten years! And, it’s all because of the GAMIFICATION technique that OrangeTheoryFitness has chosen to use for the very foundation for their business.
Think about it – if you can build a successful business in the highly competitive fitness industry using Gamification, how could you be using it in your business?
By Harold “Bud” Boughton
VP, Business Development
Nividous Software Solutions, Inc.