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On The Move Is Now Wellable

Many WELCOA members have used or heard about WELCOA’s On The Move solution. It was a holistic online wellness platform launched in 2014 to address a specific need in employee wellness programming. After years of operating fun, engaging, and impactful programs at worksites across the country, On The Move has found a new home. Last month, Wellable acquired On The Move with plans to combine the best features from the platform into their already industry-leading product. What better time than now to think about the histories of both products and talk about the future?

History of On The Move

As one of the most respected resources for building high-performing and healthy workplaces, WELCOA has access to research, insights, and other feedback loops to best understand the gaps between the wellness needs of employers and available options from vendors. After years of hearing feedback about the need for a wellness challenges platform that addressed holistic well-being, WELCOA decided to create a platform that did just that. The program was called On The Move.

To address holistic well-being, On The Move partnered with fitness expert Sean Foy and hosted a weekly “curriculum” on a specific dimension of well-being. The content for each week was written by subject matter experts and included an article with a follow-up quiz to reinforce the education as well as an assessment with tailored feedback. Sean also provided a weekly, office-friendly exercise that helps get employees excited to try new things.

As many wellness coordinators know too well, employee well-being success is not driven by “a build it and they will come” strategy. This is why On The Move paid special attention to what makes employees want to be active. Leveraging research from Michelle Segar that explored why individuals workout, On The Move wanted to focus on creating sustainable behaviors that leave lasting impacts on the professional and personal lives of participants.

After collecting the data from respondents on why they work out and how often they work out, the research took all of their answers and put them into two categories: (i) body shape reasons and (ii) non-body shape reasons. Body shape reasons were anything from “I want to lose weight” to “I want to increase muscle tone” to “I want to reduce my cholesterol number” to “my doctor told me to.” Non-body shape reasons were everything else: “it helps me be a more patient parent” to “it helps me manage my stress” to “it’s the thing I do for me” to “I find I sleep better at night when I regularly exercise.” The research found that those who worked out for non-body shape reasons work out twice as much. The research highlighted a key problem in the employee wellness industry: education and reasons to be active often focused on body shape reasons (e.g., focusing on BMI, biometric screenings, etc.). WELCOA knew that the platform they wanted to create needed to connect people with more meaningful “whys” for moving, which is a key area of focus for the On The Move solution.

On The Move started as an annual company challenge and eventually grew into an annual university/college challenge. Later, WELCOA launched Life On The Move, which could be run at any time by companies on their own. Since its inception, the programs have helped hundreds of organizations, representing more than 200,000 individuals. It plans to continue to empower healthy workplaces and employees with its future with Wellable.

History of Wellable

Founded in 2012, Wellable began with a foundational belief in two things: (i) emerging technologies, such as Fitbit and MyFitnessPal, were going to revolutionize the consumer wellness market and (ii) existing employee wellness programs were anchoring on ideas that had been proven wrong.

In regard to the first belief, Wellable felt that employee wellness programs would be better off by embracing these technologies rather than fighting them. At the time, some forward-thinking employee wellness vendors were offering their own proprietary device while many non-technology-oriented ones were still relying on manual entry for physical activity tracking. To put it into perspective, the Fitbit Zip had just come out, and many failed wearable brands, such as Jawbone and Pebble, were still in business. The future of these devices was uncertain, and most companies and vendors were not willing to rely on them as a pillar of an employee wellness program. Although it is now commonplace for wellness technology platforms to integrate with consumer technologies, it was still a novel concept in 2012, which is why Wellable was one the first companies to connect Fitbit directly to an employee wellness platform. After Fitbit, Wellable continued to integrate with all the leading consumer technologies, resulting in the most direct integrations to third-party consumer technologies in the market.

In regard to the second belief, Wellable knew it wanted to be defined by the solutions and features it offers as much as the solutions it chooses not to offer. This is why certain legacy services that many vendors continued to offer, such as screenings not recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, could not be included as part of the Wellable solution set.

As Wellable grew, it started to realize the limitations of the consumer technology market. Namely, these technologies were focused on physical activity and nutrition. Wanting to address multiple dimensions of well-being, Wellable began investing in proprietary content and modules to address the whole person in a scalable way. This vision for the future of Wellable will become one of the main drivers of value it saw in On The Move.

On The Move + Wellable: A Shared Vision

The combination of On The Move and Wellable made strategic sense for both parties because the visions were so well aligned. Both sought to engage employers in programs that went beyond physical activity by educating employees on multiple dimensions of well-being. Both want employees to engage in healthy behaviors for how they make them feel and how it allows them to thrive rather than for body image reasons. Last but not least, both platforms understand that each organization is different and measures success differently, and as such, they need tailored and configurable solutions to meet their specific goals and objectives.

“WELCOA’s journey with On The Move began almost five years ago. We wanted to create something that would build community amongst our members and connect them to more meaningful and holistic resources for being well. Over the years, On The Move’s whole-person approach has helped thousands of employees live a healthier, happier life. As On The Move has continued to grow, WELCOA recognized that it was time to find it a new home where it could evolve into the solution it has been striving to be. We are ecstatic that Wellable shares our vision and will be leveraging their technical and customization proficiencies to take the platform to new heights.”
– Ryan Picarella, President of WELCOA

What does the future hold for these two platforms? Wellable is actively working to incorporate the key features that made On The Move great into the Wellable Wellness Challenges solution. This includes incorporating the existing content library as well as continuing to work with Sean Foy to produce new content. Wellable will also continue to work closely with WELCOA to understand the needs of the market to adapt and create solutions that meet these evolving needs.

Want to learn more about Wellable? Check out the website or reach out via email to schedule a time to chat.