Retrofit Blog


Retrofit is Changing the Game of Weight Loss

September 30, 2013

Every weight loss success story addresses issues of motivation. Coopetition turns weight loss into a competitive game between two people, providing a very effective source of motivation that most people enjoy. The popular personal and corporate weight loss technique leverages high-tech weight loss tools, like the Fitbit wireless activity tracker that is given to Retrofit clients, combined with the competitive nature that resides in most of us, to turn weight loss into a mutually-beneficial competition. All someone needs to participate in this effective weight loss strategy is a competitive partner with similar goals. Readiness and a competitive nature are the key components for coopeting to improved health and fitness.

Coopetition is a particularly popular weight-loss strategy with corporate executives, which isn't surprising since it borrows an approach that has been effective in the business world for years: working with competitors to share effective strategies while still competing to reach a goal. This symbiotic competition appeals to people who are busy, concerned about health and fitness, and looking for some extra motivation to encourage basic lifestyle changes.

Innovated by individuals who realized the fun application of all their personal fitness data created from wireless trackers, coopetition has become a major force in weight loss, part of the "game-ification" of life. With a device like the Fitbit always attached to your hip, every movement is tracked. For example, you'll be able to look back over your data and see such specifics as the day the elevators were out and you had to walk up the stairs, the afternoon you got home early and had time to chase your kids around and play for a few hours, and the horrible all-nighter you pulled at your desk, barely taking the time to stand up for a bathroom break.

With clear metrics such as steps per day, calories burned, distance and elevation traveled, and activity intensity, it's easy to analyze your own activities on a day-to-day basis. More importantly, you can compare that data against your co-competitor's. It could be as simple as a race to 100,000 steps, the highest percentage increase in calories burned from one month to the next, or any other goal that interests you. This additional reason to stay active makes people even more appreciative of a busy weekend with the kids or more likely to get up for a quick walk every 30 minutes at work. Participants are motivated to stay active however they can. That's the thing about coopetition with activity trackers. It turns literally every activity into an "in-game" action that adds points to your score, and this kind of pervasive motivation creates the kind of change in permanent mentality needed for sustainable weight loss.

Whether you use this tool as a corporate weight loss strategy to get everyone in the office into the act, or take a few devices home to get your spouse off the couch with you, you'll see why many pros say weight loss is simple, but never easy. Staying active is a simple idea, but finding the motivation to do so is always challenging.

That's why we love coopetition at Retrofit, and why we're such fans of this application for personal and corporate weight loss. Real, sustainable weight loss and health improvements require shifts in your frame of mind and how you live your life, which in turn, requires support and motivation. Competition and cooperating with a friend or loved one make it easier to create a more active lifestyle, and makes that shift fun. This self-directed incentive structure is a big part of why coopetition is growing in popularity so rapidly. It's a constant source of motivation that appeals to our very nature as competitors.

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Jeff Hyman Retrofit Chief Executive Officer

Jeff is an entrepreneur at heart with a lifelong passion for creating innovative and human-powered companies. He was Founder and CEO of three internet-based services companies. He served as SVP of Sales & Marketing for Ameritox, and VP of Marketing at Dyson. Jeff is an active member in Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). He holds a BS from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

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