CARROT Wellness

Study: Just Two Sedentary Weeks Can Have Troubling Effects

It’s always important to keep moving – but don’t just take our word for it. Ask the researchers at the University of Liverpool.

They recently conducted a study to determine the effects of inactivity. Their findings? Just two weeks of inactivity in young healthy people can reduce muscle mass and produce metabolic changes that could lead to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and potentially premature death.

The study included 28 physically active young adults who averaged at least 10,000 steps per day, but didn’t really exercise otherwise. The participants were instructed to cut their daily step count by 80 percent, or to about 1,500 steps per day.

“Basically, they took 28 healthy, active people, and they recruited them to be couch potatoes – essentially to see what would happen,” Dr. Frank McGeorge from the Henry Ford Medical Group said in a recent interview with WJR Radio’s Paul W. Smith. “Nothing in their diet changed at all, so all they did was become couch potatoes.”

After two weeks, researchers noticed significant changes in the participants’ body compositions, including loss of skeletal muscle mass and increases in total body fat.

“After only 14 days – two weeks – of significantly decreased activity, all of the participants had a reduction in muscle mass, as well as an uptick in body fat – particularly that more dangerous, metabolically active central body fat,” Dr. McGeorge said.

Bursts over long periods of time don’t really do as much as being consistent.
— Dr. Frank McGeorge, Henry Ford Medical Group

Overall, results showed that cardio-respiratory fitness levels declined sharply and participants were unable to run for as long or at the same intensity as previously.

Scary. So what’s the takeaway here?

“The real value in this particular study is that it shows that very unhealthy changes can occur in a very short time – basically as little as two weeks – and it reminds everyone that it's important to try to be as consistent as possible when you're exercising, working out, or basically staying active and fit.”

Added Dr. McGeorge: “Bursts over long periods of time don't really do as much as being consistent."

In the end, it’s not about running marathons. It’s about getting a little healthier each and every day. Keep taking those #CarrotSteps.

Checking All the Community Health Boxes

“The Affordable Care Act requires hospitals to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify health issues encountered in a hospital’s service area as well as to develop possible strategies to address these issues, adopt an implementation plan at least every three years, and be prepared to monitor and measure its progress.”

Ability to monitor? Check.

Measurable? Check.

Affordable for non-profits of any size? Check.

A mobile tool that allows hospitals to fully implement their plan to address their community’s health needs? Check.

When it comes to community health and wellness, CARROT checks (and thinks outside of) all the boxes!

Find out why.

Where Traditional Wellness Initiatives Fail

You can’t undo a Big Mac with a salad.

You can’t undo five sleepless nights with a weekend in bed.

And, according to the American Heart Association, you can’t undo sitting at a desk for eight hours with vigorous exercise.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with exercise. But as the American Heart Association points out in a recent review, “Regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, prolonged sedentary time could negatively impact the health of your heart and blood vessels.”

Understanding the significance of increased movement – in the form of walking – is critical to making substantive changes in people’s lives.

According to the AHA’s findings: “Interventions focusing solely on reducing sedentary behavior appear to be more effective at reducing sedentary behavior than those that include strategies for both increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviors.”

The American Heart Association’s conclusion: “Absence of sufficient data to recommend qualitative guidelines, it is appropriate to promote the advisory, ‘Sit less, move more.’”

In an article in The Atlantic summarizing the AHA’s report, James Hamblin writes, “And by ‘move,’ they mean almost anything that is not sitting or reclining – anything that increases your metabolism to 1.5 times that of being absolutely still. Which is a very low bar. ‘Leisurely walking’ is close to 2.5, while gardening… is closer to four.”

Sit less, move more. It’s a prescription that’s easy for anyone to grasp, and it’s far more likely to resonate among those who lead sedentary lifestyles (a.k.a. the 20-percent accounting for 80-percent of healthcare costs).

Sadly, this strikes at the very heart of why traditional health and wellness initiatives miss the mark. Health club memberships, fitness trackers and 30-day challenges are all very nice – but they don’t connect with the most at-risk members. They do nothing to make something as basic as “increased movement” a healthy habit for those who are sedentary.

Sit less, move more. Any organization looking to make a life-changing impact on the health and wellness of others needs to consider using a program that embraces this very fundamental concept.

What’s the Value of 70 Miles?

We’ve discovered that if you walk 70 miles with a Fitbit, you’ll earn something they call a “Penguin March” badge.

Hmmm. Well, that’s… motivating.

On the other hand, if you walk 70 miles in CARROT’s program, you’d earn about 160,000 Reward Points – enough to compete in our annual “Mega Madness” college hoops contest, a full season of “CARROT Fantasy Bachelor”, enter two “Survivor” walking challenges, and get one free month in our “Versus Fantasy Football” contests (with the chance to win prizes in each!)

Of course, you could choose to do both. Then you’d get Fitbit’s virtual badge AND be able to compete in all the great CARROT contests. Bonus!

BTW, special thanks to the CARROT participant who passing this info along to us (our users are the best!!)

"They walked HOW FAR?"

Beaumont Health recently sponsored a “Summer Sweepstakes” contest on CARROT as part of its community health and wellness initiative. The response from users was, quite simply,  off-the-charts:

(1) There were 153,801 entries in Beaumont’s Summer Sweepstakes contest on CARROT – meaning participants redeemed nearly 154-million steps in pursuit of $250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

(2) Participants walked about 70,000 miles to enter the drawing, roughly the equivalent of walking:

2,668 marathons,
31,777 trips from the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial,
14,000 trips over the Mackinac Bridge,
11,461 trips around Central Park, or
25 trips from New York City to Los Angeles.

(3) Walking a circuit around Metro Detroit to all eight Beaumont Hospitals would require about 242,000 steps – meaning the participants walked the equivalent of 636 “Beaumont Loops”.

(4) Beaumont’s offer of $250 in prizes resulted in more than 615,000 steps per dollar invested!

(5) CARROT users were attracted to Beaumont’s contest in huge numbers. In the course of purchasing nearly 154,000 entries, users viewed the Beaumont reward about 680,000 times during the month of July.

Today’s CARROT Audience: The World

Accenture hosts weekly Skype meetings to a global audience promoting the latest advances in health care. This week’s topic: CARROT Wellness, featuring a 30-minute presentation by Founder & CEO Michael Antaran.

Participants in Accenture’s meetings hail from Manila, London, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam, Shanghai and Singapore, among many other cities. For those unfamiliar, Accenture is a global management consulting and professional services firm that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services.

It may be difficult for CARROT to top this week’s audience – but it won’t stop us from trying!

“Beaumont Gets Walking” with CARROT

Beaumont Health is taking a new “gamified” approach to community health, utilizing the CARROT Wellness mobile app as the high-tech centerpiece of its “Beaumont Get Walking” initiative.

Participants in the free program will use CARROT to earn “virtual currencies” for walking and meeting individual activity goals – and they will use those currencies to purchase exclusive rewards including digital gift cards and incentives offered by local businesses. Through CARROT, Beaumont will also promote, and reward community members for participating in, a variety of wellness-related events.

“We’re absolutely honored to be working with Beaumont to support their amazing work in community health,” said Michael Antaran, CARROT Founder & CEO. “Their longtime commitment to the communities they serve is well-established. We firmly believe CARROT will be an effective tool in helping Beaumont reach the entire community, including those who do not typically take part in wellness initiatives.”

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity affect work, family and overall quality of life. To address the alarming trend in chronic disease, Beaumont – one of Michigan’s largest health care systems with eight regional hospitals – has partnered with key community stakeholders to improve health one community at a time.

“Our partnership with CARROT gives community members an incentive to get moving,” said Betty Priskorn, Vice President, Community Health Outreach at Beaumont Health. “The program uses individualized goals and instant gratification to motivate. Beaumont is committed to becoming a leader in care that supports the needs of the communities we serve.”

“Beaumont Gets Walking” focuses on the communities in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in Southeast Michigan. As a part of this initiative, CARROT will provide Beaumont with an engaging, measurable, and mobile program that essentially makes a game out of walking.

To participate in the program, Metro Detroit area residents are encouraged to:

     1) Download the free CARROT wellness app from the Apple or Google Play Store. Search “carrot wellness” or go to http://onelink.to/CARROT

     2) Open CARROT and log in. Log in using your phone number (preferred) or Facebook

     3) Swipe left to “BEAUMONT” tab, tap on the “Join the Program” reward item and “purchase” your free entry into the program

Local businesses who would like to support the program by contributing rewards may do so at no cost. Those merchants can get involved by contacting CARROT directly.

Introduced in Metro Detroit in 2016, CARROT Wellness is a free mobile app that uses personalized activity goals and instant gratification to motivate users on an individual level. Its gamified approach to health and wellness has demonstrated results in leading people to make increased movement a new, healthy habit.

CARROT was named the “Most Innovative Solution” to engage millennials with health care during the annual Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit in November 2016.

The app is a free download on the Apple and Google Play Stores and can be found by searching “carrot wellness”, or by following this link: http://onelink.to/carrot. More information is available at http://carrotwellness.com.

Monday is Deadline for CARROT Offering

The clock is ticking.

CARROT's offering on Netcapital ends this Monday, April 2, at 4pm.  For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT PASS LLC.

CARROT’s "gamified" approach leads to quick adoption and unrivaled engagement by all users, particularly among those who do not typically participate in health and wellness programs.

Investors on Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, can purchase stock from promising companies such as CARROT.  Entering its final week, CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Final Two Weeks of ICO (Initial CARROT Offering!)

There are just two weeks left to grab that ownership stake in CARROT.

The opportunity to purchase shares of common stock in CARROT through Netcapital, a crowdfunding platform, ends April 2.  CARROT has already raised about four times more in investment dollars than its minimum Netcapital target.

For as little as $4.90, you can now have an equity interest in CARROT.

“We’re excited about the response we’ve gotten,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “Going through this process has really put us on the map and has started some great conversations with people who recognize our potential. It's very exciting.”

CARROT’s patent-pending, “set-it-and-forget-it” program uses personalized goals and instant gratification to motivate employees on an individual basis, making CARROT an attractive corporate wellness program for companies of all sizes. CARROT leverages the viral advantages of mobile technology to quickly onboard small employers while offering a cost-effective, scalable solution for the world’s largest corporations.

With a few clicks, investors on Netcapital can purchase stock from promising companies, such as CARROT Pass LLC, for as little as $4.90.

To learn more or to invest in CARROT, visit https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Clarkston Chooses CARROT to Support Community Health Initiative

To generate interest and excitement in its fifth annual “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo”, the Clarkston (MI) Area Chamber of Commerce is using CARROT to engage the community.

The effort, sponsored by Health Alliance Plan (HAP) of Michigan, allows those who live, work and play in the Clarkston area to participate in a community walking challenge free of charge. The Clarkston Chamber will also promote the expo and its sponsors on the free CARROT Wellness mobile app.

 “CARROT is known as a fun, engaging corporate wellness program, but it can also be effective as a community engagement tool,” said CARROT CEO Michael Antaran. “The City of Royal Oak used CARROT to support a similar program last year, and now we’re extremely happy that Clarkston has taken it to another level.”

“In the days ahead, we’ll have an exciting announcement about an even larger community engagement initiative that will benefit thousands,” Antaran said.

The “Body, Mind, Green Community Expo” will take place Thursday, April 19 at Clarkston High School. The Clarkston Health Challenge, as the walking contest is called, begins March 19.

Participants in the Clarkston Health Challenge will have the opportunity to compete for prizes by meeting their daily CARROT activity goal. Users will be able to follow their progress on an in-app leaderboard. In exchange for the Reward Points earned for walking (one step equals one Reward Point), participants can also enter drawings for prizes on the CARROT Wellness app. Contestants must be present at the expo to win.

More info is available at https://www.clarkston.org/.

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Awesome-Sauce: CARROT Races Past Netcapital Minimum!

Just one week ago, we introduced CARROT’s offer on Netcapital. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that CARROT has already surpassed its $10,000 minimum raise – and is now one of the fastest startups to reach the $30,000 investment mark on the crowdfunding platform!

“We’re ecstatic with the response we’ve already received,” said CARROT founder and CEO Michael Antaran. “Almost all of the initial investors are current CARROT users or customers. These are the people who know CARROT best, and I think that sends a very loud message about their belief in our future.”

For as little as $4.90, you can now purchase common stock and have an equity stake in CARROT through Netcapital. Details can be found at https://netcapital.com/companies/carrot.

Please consider this special opportunity to invest in CARROT today.

Leadership OU Pays Visit to CARROT

CARROT received a special visit this week from the participants of Leadership OU, a student-alumni program at Oakland University.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran, who received his Master’s Degree in Engineering from OU, spent two hours with the students, recounting his professional journey from the auto industry to the world of high tech and sharing his “lessons learned” – along with a few tips for making successful mobile apps.

Leadership OU provides leadership, mentoring, and networking opportunities for undergraduate students by connecting them to successful Oakland University alumni. Participants are part of a cohort experience spanning an eight-month period from September to April.

“It was an honor to be asked to host this group,” said Antaran. “And it’s easy to see why these students were admitted into this prestigious program. Each was very impressive, asking great, insightful questions.

“I have no doubt they’ll be extremely successful in their chosen fields.”

CARROT CEO Michael Antaran addresses some of the students from Leadership OU.

CARROT CEO Michael Antaran addresses some of the students from Leadership OU.

Congrats to Macomb County's Winning Team!

Macomb County Government made the most of its first year in the CARROT program. In addition to participating in Survivor Challenges and other CARROT-sponsored contests, MCG had a spirited year-long competition on its "CARROT Leaderboard". 

The leaderboard tracks, in real time, monthly activity progress for all departments/teams in the CARROT program. One team - Corporate Counsel (pictured here) - led for exactly half the year, finishing as the monthly leader six times. The members of that team made their personal activity goals an incredible 86% of the time during the year, far outdistancing second-place Information Technology (66%) and third-place Juvenile Court (63%).

Overall, the number of Macomb County Government participants with a personal goal of 10,000 steps per day MORE THAN DOUBLED during the past 12 months. While only little more than 10% of participants began the program averaging 10k+ steps per day, approximately 25% finished the year with a personal daily goal of 10,000 steps!

Congratulations to Corporate Counsel and everyone at Macomb County Government!

Ignite2Disrupt: CARROT Honored by TiECon Detroit

Recognized for its disruptive approach to health and wellness, CARROT was honored with TiE Detroit’s “Award of Excellence” during TiECon Detroit Ignite2Disrupt 2017, Michigan’s largest entrepreneurial conference.

According to TiE Detroit, more than 500 organizations were nominated for the “Award of Excellence”, but only 20 groups were selected as recipients of the prestigious honor, including CARROT.

“This is a great honor for us. It speaks volumes that TiE Detroit would recognize our unique approach in using technology to drive healthier behaviors,” said Founder and CEO Michael Antaran who accepted the award on behalf of the CARROT Team.

“They were impressed with our gamified approach to wellness, but they were probably more impressed when they saw the data. They saw that we get results – that CARROT motivates people over both the short and long term to make increased movement a new, healthy habit.”

Founded in Silicon Valley in 1992, TiE is a global nonprofit organization focused on fostering and enabling entrepreneurship through mentoring, educating, networking, funding, and incubating. TiE has a network of over 61 chapters in 18 countries with a worldwide membership comprising charter members, successful entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The Detroit conference provided an array of opportunities to exchange ideas, explore new businesses, discuss emerging technologies, share growth strategies, and obtain insight from global business leaders, community leaders and worldwide experts.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran accepted the "Award of Excellence" at TiECon Detroit 2017 at the Detroit Marriott at the GM Renaissance Center.

CARROT Founder & CEO Michael Antaran accepted the "Award of Excellence" at TiECon Detroit 2017 at the Detroit Marriott at the GM Renaissance Center.

Macomb County Staffers are True Survivors

Macomb County Government's very first "CARROT Survivor Challenge" was a record-breaking success.

“Survivor” is one of the many contests available to participants in a CARROT Health & Wellness program. Essentially, it’s a last-person-standing competition requiring participants to make their personalized activity goal each and every day to stay in the contest. Fall short one day and you’re eliminated.

Macomb County had a record 12 staff members still alive in the challenge when it reached its 60-day limit. The previous record for a CARROT Survivor was four finalists – and THAT was an incredible feat.

In keeping with the contest rules, a random drawing among the remaining contestants was held to determine the winner. The drawing winner was Terena Tubbs who works for the Macomb Community Action Head Start program.

Terena was a great example of the dedication demonstrated by each of the 12 finalists. When she began the challenge on March 1, Terena averaged fewer than 4,400 steps daily; she proceeded to make her personalized goal EVERY DAY for the next two months, regularly walking more than 10,000 steps daily by the end of the competition.

“At Macomb County, we were looking for a way to motivate our workforce to be more active and be able to monitor their daily activity along the way,” said Amy Lumetta, Service Partner in the Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations Department.  “We were able to find this with the CARROT app which also provided an added feature to reward employees after meeting their goals.”

Wanting to recognize the great effort made by each of the other finalists, Macomb County decided to award each a $5 gift card. Considering that most had accumulated more than half-a-million steps during that two-month period, the rewards were certainly well-deserved.

Congratulations to Terena and all of the finalists for their great accomplishment!

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City of Royal Oak Using CARROT Wellness for New Community Walking Challenge

ROYAL OAK, MICH. – With the assistance of the free ‘CARROT Wellness’ mobile app, members of the Royal Oak community will be able to use their smartphones to participate in the inaugural “Mayor’s 50 Miles in 50 Days Walking Challenge”.

 “We’re excited that the City of Royal Oak is using CARROT for this great community program,” said Michael Antaran, Founder & CEO of CARROT Wellness. “We’re honored to be able to support our hometown.”
Mayor Michael Fournier and the Royal Oak City Commission are encouraging individuals and families to lead healthier lifestyles with the challenge that began on April 15.

"One of the things Royal Oak has in common with the most vibrant cities in the world is that it's very walkable," said Mayor Fournier. "This spring, I am asking you to 'step it up' and experience all of the exciting things Royal Oak has to offer on foot."

Once the app is downloaded from either the Apple (iPhone) or Google Play (Android) Store, participants are encouraged to sign in using either their phone number of Facebook. Users should also be sure to allow ‘Location Services’ to see the special “Royal Oak” screen where information, exclusive rewards and a “Walking Challenge Leaderboard” are available.
The “Royal Oak” screen is only visible to CARROT users in and around the City of Royal Oak.

The app can be found by searching “carrot wellness” on the app store, or follow this link: http://onelink.to/carrot.

CARROT Wellness is a mobile corporate health and wellness program that rewards participants financially for walking and meeting individualized activity goals. It was launched in January 2016 by CARROT Pass LLC of Royal Oak. 

In November 2016, CARROT was named the “Most Innovative Solution” to engage millennials with health care during the annual Crain’s Detroit Business Health Care Leadership Summit. CARROT’s first corporate wellness customers include Henry Ford Health System, Health Alliance Plan, the UAW, Oakland University and Macomb County Government.

CARROT’s proprietary algorithm allows all users – from marathon runners to manual wheelchair users – to compete equally for rewards, providing instant gratification for meeting personalized goals.

 

CARROT's Activity Screen

CARROT's Activity Screen

CARROT gives each participant a personalized “Activity Goal”, based on the user’s own activity history, which is updated daily. By walking and meeting personal activity goals, participants earn currencies that can be used to purchase rewards such as digital gift cards that are available right on the app.


CARROT has “gamified” health and wellness, including several fun features available to all users. With CARROT, there’s no need to purchase a fitness tracker – everything, including your steps data and rewards, is stored exclusively on your phone. The app doesn’t even have to be on or running to earn points. But if you already own a fitness tracker, CARROT accepts steps data from most popular devices including Fitbit.

More information about CARROT can be found at http://carrotwellness.com.

 

Study: Walk More to Lose Weight, Improve Mood

Independence Blue Cross, the largest health insurer in the Philadelphia area, conducted an interesting nine-month walking study last summer. (At least, it’s interesting if you’re the creator of an activity-based wellness program!)

The study included six groups. Three groups participated in a “standard walking program” that tracked the number of steps walked each day, biometric screenings at various stages, and resources such as flyers and posters to promote the importance of walking. The employers had the option to do as much or as little promotion as they wished.

The other three groups were assigned to an “enhanced walking program” that provided the same trackers, screening, and promotional resources as the standard group, as well as incentives, coaching, feedback, competitive challenges, worksite-specific walking maps, and monthly wellness workshops.

As you might have guessed, participants in the enhanced program averaged 726 more steps on a daily basis and were more likely to meet the 10,000 steps-a-day threshold than those participating in the standard program. What is more noteworthy is the fact that participants in BOTH programs who increased their steps by 1,000 per day lost weight: on average, 3.8 pounds for men and 2.1 pounds for women. Participants who walked more also reported improved moods and better overall feelings about their health.

CARROT Users: 20,000 Purchases (and Climbing!)

“Black Friday”, “Small Business Saturday” and “Cyber Monday” are familiar to most shoppers.

Perhaps “CARROT Wellness Wednesday” should be added to the list.

This past Wednesday, CARROT Wellness users surpassed the 20,000-mark in total purchases on the free app.

“This number is staggering, far exceeding our wildest expectations,” said CARROT CEO Michael Antaran. “When you consider that it took less than 11 months to get this kind of traction, it’s really unbelievable.”

The CARROT Health & Wellness program was made available on the Apple and Google Play stores in January 2016. Purchased items include digital gift cards, physical goods, exclusive discounts, and entries into free prize drawings.

“We’re humbled by the support and enthusiasm we’ve received from users in our first year,” Antaran said, “and it’s driving us to add new, even more engaging features in the months and years ahead.”

CARROT Wellness can be found on the app store here.

CARROT Participates in U-M Student Program

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business recently invited CARROT to participate in its annual Venture Capital Investment Competition. This unique program allows MBA-candidate students to compete as members of fictitious VC teams in evaluating startup businesses. The students are coached by professional venture capitalists and members of the U-M faculty.

CARROT CEO Michael Antaran was one of three entrepreneurs asked to participate in the program.

“I’m so honored that I could help give these students a chance to gain some valuable real-world experience,” Antaran said. “I really enjoyed interacting with the students, the staff members, the VC’s and the other entrepreneurs. It was a great learning experience for everyone involved, myself included.”

The full-day program, hosted by the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies in Ann Arbor, asked each business owner to make a 10-minute presentation and then conduct 15-minute meetings with each of the competing student teams.

“The students were very, very impressive,” Antaran said. “I feel like it’s my obligation to give back when I have these opportunities. I’m glad I could contribute.”

Crain’s Honors Michael Antaran (Again!)

Congratulations to our own Michael Antaran on receiving another great accolade! Michael was recently honored by Crain’s Detroit Business on its “50 Names to Know in Information Technology” list. The Founder and CEO of Marvel Apps (parent company of CARROT), Michael was also spotlighted in Crain’s for winning its “Healthy@Work” competition in November.

“It is a very interesting 50,” wrote Tom Henderson of Crain’s,  “a diverse group that ranges in age from 31 to 65, a mix of women and men, of races and heritages and scientific and informational interests, of people at small startups hoping to create a niche and at huge global institutions hoping to keep theirs.”

Michael’s inclusion on this prestigious list speaks volumes about the impact Marvel Apps and CARROT are having in Detroit’s mobile technology space.  Congrats, Mike!

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/awards/names_to_know/information_technology/2016/3432514/michael-antaran