CARROTsteps

“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.

Need a Great Community Walking Program? We've Got One!

CARROT, it turns out, is much more than an innovative corporate wellness program.

Last year, the City of Royal Oak (MI) used CARROT to support its “50 Miles in 50 Days” walking challenge for its citizens. And more recently, CARROT completed a 30-day “Survivor” community walking challenge pilot – with the results exceeding anything we’ve witnessed to date.

With no promotion of the challenge (except for its posting on the CARROT Wellness app), 109 people registered to participate. The participants were challenged to make their personalized CARROT activity goal each day for 30 consecutive days.

Among the results:

  • Fully 42% of participants successfully completed the challenge, making their personal activity goals every day for 30 straight days. (That is NOT an easy feat to accomplish!)
  • Getting off to a good start equated to success: those who were successful the first two days of the challenge survived, on average, 25 days.
  • By the end of the challenge, those participants increased their personal steps by an average of 22.2%! (This excludes those who began with the maximum goal of 10,000 steps.)
  • Daily engagement was about 92% overall, and the vast majority of those participants opened the CARROT app at least three times per day.

CARROT's community program allows local businesses, at no cost, to offer incentives and rewards to program participants. The program sponsor has the ability to recognize and promote all supporters on the CARROT app.

In the weeks ahead, we will be announcing expanded community walking opportunities using the CARROT Wellness app.

If your organization is looking for a fun, creative and cost-effective way to motivate your community to be more active, contact CARROT today.

In a CARROT Wellness Program? Here are 10 Things You Should Know!

If you participate in a CARROT Health & Wellness Program, there are plenty of great features and benefits to enjoy. To make sure you get the most out of your program, here’s our Top 10 List of “Things You Should Know about CARROT”!

 

10) You can earn two different currencies on CARROT.

All CARROT users earn one yellow REWARD POINT for each step they take. This is the “universal” currency used for games, contests and rewards available to the general public. Participants in a CARROT Health & Wellness program also earn one green GOAL COIN each day they meet their personalized activity goal. Since only one coin a day may be earned, this currency is extremely valuable, and it’s why rewards offered by employers typically require Goal Coins to purchase.

 

9) Your personal goal is yours (and yours alone!)

Your personalized steps goal updates every day, and it’s determined by CARROT as a way to encourage you, on a personal level, to lead a more active lifestyle. CARROT is designed to meet you where you are today and lead you to make increased movement a new healthy habit. To prevent people from “gaming” the program and taking shortcuts to receive rewards, CARROT sets all daily steps goals and does not allow for user input, adjustments or modifications. Following the CDC's recommended level of daily activity, your personal daily goal will never exceed 10,000 steps.

 

8) It’s super easy (that’s a technical term) to purchase rewards on CARROT.

Simply tapping on the reward of your choice opens a purchase screen where, if you have enough “CARROT currency” (either green Goal Coins or yellow Reward Points), you can complete your purchase of that item. All rewards require that you provide your email address to receive your reward so that you can be sent a confirmation email. The purchase of physical goods normally require that you provide a valid shipping address.

 

7) Answers to your CARROT questions are just a tap away.

If you ever have any questions about your CARROT program, just check out the “FAQ’s”. There you’ll find answers to more than 50 of the most common questions from CARROT users. You can find the FAQ’s by tapping on the top-left menu button on the CARROT app. And if you need additional help, you can always contact the CARROT Team directly by emailing support@carrotwellness.com.

 

6) You can earn extra Reward Points just by sharing the CARROT app.

The “Refer & Earn” feature allows you to be rewarded for sharing CARROT with your friends. You can find “Refer & Earn” by tapping on the menu button (in the top-left corner). You are given the option to share the CARROT app via email, text, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Each time one of your friends or co-workers (who has never downloaded CARROT) uses your link to install the app, you’ll receive 1,000 Reward Points – and your friend will also receive 1,000 points! There is no limit to the number of points you can receive for referring CARROT.

 

5) In addition to your employer’s rewards, local rewards are frequently available to you.

Rewards provided by local merchants and nearby special events are made available based on your location – so it’s important that you enable “Location Services” (allow GPS) for your CARROT app to see the rewards available near you.

 

4) Streaks are required to access “unlockable rewards”.

Do you see those grayed-out rewards with an orange padlock on your CARROT app? Those are “Unlockable Rewards” which require that you complete a specified personal goal streak to “unlock” the reward. Because of the additional challenge of achieving a goal streak, these rewards are typically lower priced that other rewards. The number displayed on the padlock indicates the NUMBER OF DAYS STILL NEEDED to unlock the reward. Once the required streak is achieved, the reward will be available for you to purchase (whether you actually purchase the reward is totally up to you!) Please be advised that if you do not meet your goal one day, the reward once again locks and the process restarts.

 

3) You can use fitness trackers to help count your steps.

CARROT is designed to work solely on your phone – but if you own a fitness tracker, you can use that device with CARROT. To link a Fitbit, tap on the CARROT menu button, go to “Settings” and tap on the “Link Fitbit” button. You will then need to log into your Fitbit account. After linking your Fitbit, CARROT will automatically accept the steps data from the device that has the greatest number of steps each day (either your phone or Fitbit).

To use any other tracker, you’ll need to go to the wearable device’s app and then connect/share your steps data with Apple Health (iPhone) or Google Fit (Android). You should open your device’s app to sync steps data before opening CARROT each day. Certain technologies (i.e. Samsung Health, Garmin with Android) require the use of a third-part app to connect. All of this information is available in the CARROT FAQ’s.

 

2) Allowing notifications helps keep you on track.

CARROT will periodically send lock screen notifications when new rewards are posted, as well as to celebrate your accomplishments and to encourage you to continue making progress. And if you are competing in a CARROT competition (such as Survivor or a CARROT “Versus” contest), notifications are sent to keep you updated and to remind you of important deadlines. This is why it’s beneficial to allow notifications from CARROT (these can be turned on through your phone’s settings as well as on the CARROT app).

 

1) Your CARROT account is ALWAYS secure!

Once you’ve created a secure account by signing into CARROT with either your phone number or Facebook, your account (including everything you’ve earned) is secure. If you ever open CARROT and cannot see your Goal Coins or Reward Points, it’s likely that the CARROT app temporarily had difficulty connecting to the server (typically it’s because of an enhanced WiFi firewall). If this ever happens, just log out of the app and log back in using the same method (phone number or Facebook) you originally used to set up your CARROT account.

“Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug”

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this is "the closest thing we have to a wonder drug”.

He’s talking about (drum roll, please)… walking.

Yes, walking, that most basic physical activity. Thanks to social media, the very first steps taken by pretty much every young tot seem to be shared with the world. From that moment on, walking becomes (and continues to be) a critical, fundamental activity for a lifetime.  

That’s why walking is generally accepted to be foundational to good health. And according to the Harvard Medical School, there are five particular benefits to walking that you may find surprising:

1. Walking counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes.
Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people and discovered that, among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.

2. Walking helps tame a sweet tooth.
A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations.

3. Walking reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors.

4. Walking eases joint pain.
Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.

5. Walking boosts immune function.
A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.

Our takeaway: get out and take those #CARROTsteps today!

 

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking

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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Tech Crunch’s Tito Hamze Looking Great in that CARROT Tee!

It’s not easy staying up-to-date in the ever-changing tech world, but Tito Hamze makes that challenge a lot easier (and more fun) with his nightly “Crunch Report” on TechCrunch.com. His April 27 update was particularly entertaining as he sported a highly-fashionable CARROT tee! (Looking great, Tito!!)

Catch Tito’s “Crunch Report” here. https://techcrunch.com/video/chinas-didi-chuxing-valuation-hits-50b-crunch-report/59026c2ac214e37210160f09/

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HFHS: Walking the Corporate Wellness Walk

It’s our belief that most organizations sincerely care about the health and wellbeing of their employees. Of course, some choose to address wellness as an “obligation”, while others view it as “essential” – as essential as any product or service the company provides. At CARROT Wellness, we’re fortunate to work with many exceptional organizations who “walk the walk” when it comes the wellbeing of its staff members.

And Henry Ford Health System takes a back seat to no one.

HFHS has long had a well-earned reputation for its leadership role in community health. But for the past year, we’ve had a front-row seat to witness their daily commitment to corporate health and wellness. Nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and financial health only begin to scratch the surface at HFHS. The wellbeing of their employees is integrated into every organizational activity – it’s truly impressive.

One year ago, as a startup company looking for a toe-hold in the vast wellness universe, we could not have hand-picked a better partner and role model.

To the HFHS staff, we appreciate your trust, confidence and support this past year – and we look forward to helping you reach your employee health and wellness goals for years to come.

 

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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.

 

CARROT Reaches Global Audience with Takeda in Europe

Takeda Pharmaceuticals spanned the globe, almost literally, looking for the best solution to run a new walking program for their employees in Switzerland and Finland. Ultimately, they determined that CARROT would be the best tool to keep their staff motivated and engaged.

“We came across CARROT while looking for an app that is simple to use. From installation, to daily usage, to evaluating results, CARROT has proven to be a great choice,” said Selim Cevik, Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Consultant, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International.

“This is not only a great program, but a great team too, that has gone out of their way to make our corporate challenge fun, engaging and successful.”

During the month-long challenge, more than 160 Takeda employees competed as small teams competing for various charities, and each used CARROT to count steps and monitor progress.  With the company pledging to donate 12,300 Swiss Francs to the charity selected by the winning team, employees competed to meet as many of their daily CARROT activity goals as possible. To help maximize engagement, participants were able to track the competition in real-time on a company-branded leaderboard.

CARROT users in the Takeda walking program competed in teams to meet as many daily CARROT activity goals as possible, with Takeda pledging 12,300 Swiss Francs to the charity selected by the winning team. Pictured is Takeda's Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Consultant Selim Cevik presenting the donation to SOS Kinderdorf.

CARROT users in the Takeda walking program competed in teams to meet as many daily CARROT activity goals as possible, with Takeda pledging 12,300 Swiss Francs to the charity selected by the winning team. Pictured is Takeda's Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Consultant Selim Cevik presenting the donation to SOS Kinderdorf.

CARROT CEO Michael Antaran met Cevik at the Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress (EHBC) in Washington D.C. last fall.

“It really began as a casual conversation,” said Antaran. “A couple of months later, Selim contacted me about using our program. He told me he had reviewed a number of other options, but he felt nothing would be as compelling and easy to use as CARROT.”

Cevik and the staff at Takeda were extremely happy with the results.

“I always got very positive feedback about your customer service. I was very pleased with the service, too,” Cevik said. “I personally think the app was good and it was the right choice. I could solve all issues myself and I think the majority of people, too.”

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.