Learning About Our Users

During our class last week our group has come up with a How Might We question entitled How Might We Engage and Promote Healthy Behaviors Among Hospital Employees? Our group believed that it would be an interesting project to offer rewards or incentives to hospital employees to engage in more exercise and maintain a healthier lifestyle. According to a study that was reported in Time Magazine, healthcare workers are less healthy than general workforce employees. They were more likely to have conditions such as asthma and depression and were more likely to be obese. They also spent 9% more on healthcare cost than the general workforce.

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/16/least-healthy-employees-hospital-workers/

We feel that an employee based program that works in conjunction with the Fitbit could not only be beneficial for the health of hospital employees but it could potentially decrease healthcare costs in the long run.

Assumptions about healthcare workers

  1. Healthcare workers are more prone to stress
  2. They are less likely to find the time to exercise
  3. They may not have healthy eating habits
  4. They are more prone to workplace injury
  5. They are more prone to anxiety or depression

Assumptions about how we may help out

  1. Our program will encourage healthcare employees to exercise more
  2. Our program will help healthcare workers maintain an active lifestyle in the long run
  3. Our program will improve an overall sense of mood
  4. Our program will offer various redeemable rewards for the amount of exercise or steps that have taken in a weekly, monthly or yearly basis
  5. Our program will help establish a community of people who have similar interests in developing a healthy lifestyle
  6. Our program will decrease healthcare costs in the long run

Observations

At work I have asked primarily nurses why they may or may not engage in exercise. I also inquired about their eating habits. The following are common themes that I have encountered.

Nurses who do not exercise

  1. I don’t have the time to exercise
  2. Walking around the hospital is enough exercise
  3. I’m always tired
  4. I’m just not motivated to
  5. I work nights so exercise is not easy
  6. I’m running around with the kids all day
  7. I’m old
  8. I try to eat as healthy as possible and try to get as much sleep as I can

Nurses who do exercise

  1. Many have chronic health conditions they have to manage such as hypertension and diabetes
  2. I have to have enough energy to be there for my kids
  3. I have injured myself at work, forcing me to exercise
  4. I have always exercised, it makes me feel good
  5. I use an app that reminds me to do a certain amount of squats per day
  6. I enjoy exercising with someone else that helps to motivate me
  7. I try to eat healthy as well as exercise
  8. I exercise to feel strong

Thoughts on apps or pieces of technology to assist in exercise

  1. I used to use a fitbit but then it became boring
  2. I don’t like to carry around a fitbit, I don’t even use watches. It becomes annoying
  3. I used to use an app that would remind me to do squats every single day but then it became monotonous and stopped using it after I set a certain goal
  4. I like to use Strava. It is an online community with various running or cycling challenges. I can interact with likeminded people.
  5. I don’t go online much and I don’t understand how to use certain apps. They become too complicated

From this assignment I learned that although many healthcare workers do want to exercise they simply don’t feel that they have enough time or energy to do so. When questioned about whether or not they would exercise if they could redeem rewards for it a majority of the people I spoke to said yes or that they would at least try to exercise.

In my research I also decided to look up steps programs that may be similar to what we are proposing. I learned of a program at New York Presbyterian called the Be Healthy program that encourages faculty to engage in steps for prizes. Employees would form teams and are given a time frame to take as many steps as they can that would be tracked by a Fitbit. The winning team would win prizes. I would like to perform more research on this program. I have also learned of this program called the National Steps Challenge in Singapore that encourages its residents to be more active using the Healthy 365 app. It gives prizes such as televisions, trips and shopping sprees to its residents who do well in the challenge http://www.healthhub.sg/programmes/37/nsc.

We want to continue researching our population group and research similar programs worldwide that may have benefited the health of people and create something revolutionary that is tailored to the needs of healthcare workers.

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