Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Active U registration to end one week early; completion qualifies for MHealthy Rewards

Registration for this year’s Active U ends Jan. 25, one week earlier than previous years.

“Participants are used to being able to register through the first week of February, so we want to make sure that everyone knows that this year registration ends a week earlier to align Active U’s start with the kick-off of MHealthy Rewards,” says Colleen Greene, MHealthy wellness coordinator.

More info
Sign up for Active U as an individual or as part of a team.
• Learn more about MHealthy Rewards.

The fifth installment of Active U, the 12-week physical activity challenge and charity fundraiser for university faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees, is among the activities that will qualify for MHealthy’s new Rewards program.

MHealthy Rewards, which also begins Jan. 25, will award a $100 (before tax) incentive to qualifying, benefits-eligible faculty and staff who complete a confidential online health questionnaire and two eligible health and well-being activities in 2010.

“The great thing is that most people who complete Active U and the online health questionnaire will be more than halfway to earning their $100 incentive,” Greene says.

Active U will continue to reward participants for logging their physical activity minutes in the online tracker each week by holding weekly drawings for prizes like gym memberships and gift certificates. Additionally, those who consistently log their minutes throughout the program will be entered into grand prize drawings for cash prizes at the end of the program.

This year, MHealthy also is utilizing Twitter and enhancing popular features like the online blogs and Active U-Tube to help keep loyal participants engaged, as well as draw in new participants. Anyone can sign up now to follow Greene on Twitter as she prepares for the start of Active U, then goes through the 12-week program.

“We’re always thinking of new ways to keep people motivated and social media sites are a great way to reach people,” says Greene. “We thought Twitter would be a fun and easy way for people to get regular encouragement from MHealthy and an opportunity to see that everyone has their ups and downs when it comes to being physically active.”

Active U-Tube, which allows participants to submit their own short videos on how and why they get active, and to view other video submissions, also has been improved from last year to make it easier to submit and access videos.

Active U’s online tracker now includes two blogs, one focused on general health and well-being and one specifically for fitness. Blogging proved to be one of Active U’s most popular features last year, with 80 percent of the nearly 10,000 participants creating, viewing or responding to entries.

“Supporting participants and giving them the motivation they need means there’s a better chance they’ll stick with physical activity through the entire 12 weeks and even after the program ends,” Greene says.