Physical activity of staff in healthcare settings

  • 2015

Setting fitness goals is notoriously difficult. If people aim too high, they are likely to give up. However, if they aim too low, they may miss an opportunity to improve their fitness.


We considered two insights that could be used to encourage people to set more effective fitness goals:

  • Personalisation. We are more likely to respond to information that is tailored to us.
  • Relative ranking. Our performance tends to improve if we are told that our peers are doing better than us.

We teamed up with Timboon and District Healthcare Service to understand what step targets would best encourage its staff, as measured by their Fitbits.

We tested two types of goal: one personalised to individuals based on their existing activity level, and a second based on a group average.

Result & Impact

Group incentives broadly re-invigorated exercise efforts, while personalised targets were even more effective at encouraging exercise.