Frequently Asked Questions
What about women in the workplace?
The POWERPLAY program has been uniquely designed for men to fill an industry-wide need. However, female employees can also benefit from the resources and challenges and can be encouraged to participate.
How are weekly steps collected if not using the Fitbit app?
Here are a few ideas for collecting weekly steps:
- Men submit paper tracking sheets into a ‘drop box’ in a central location. The team captains or coach pick up weekly.
- Men email their total steps each week to their team captain.
- Team captains follow-up with each of their team members weekly by phone, text, or email to collect their steps. Any strategy can be used to collect the weekly steps as long as it is communicated clearly.
Who will be responsible for calculating the weekly team scores?
The team captains collect their team members’ steps each week and coordinate with the coach to enter the scores on the tracking spreadsheet. The coach is responsible for tracking the team steps on the great northern circle route to show how far each team has travelled. Consider appointing an assistant coach in the event that the coach is unable to complete this task.
How are steps converted into distance?
1 km = 1320 steps, so total steps are divided by 1320 to get kms. The Excel spreadsheet provided includes this calculation.
What if some team members do not hand in their steps each week (or forget to wear their pedometer), how will their team’s total be calculated?
Team members who do not hand in their steps are given a score of 0 towards their team’s total steps that week. The sum of scores is calculated because it encourages everyone to participate – each person’s steps make a difference to their team’s total score. Make sure to clearly communicate the deadline for step submission.
What if participants hand in their steps late (after weekly totals have already been calculated)? Should these be added to the total?
Late submissions can be added to the total steps and the map adjusted accordingly, but if participants submit their steps after the weekly calculations have been done, they won’t qualify for the weekly prizes. Having prizes throughout the challenge and clear deadlines for submitting steps encourages ongoing participation.
What if the teams are uneven?
The easiest way to run the challenge is to encourage participants to form teams that are the same size; however, this can sometimes be hard to do. Smaller teams will then be at a disadvantage unless you adjust their scores. It is possible to adjust the spreadsheet scores to account for unequal teams, but this needs to be done by hand. Here is how:
- Take the number of members in the largest team, and divide by the number of members on the smaller team.
- Using the spreadsheet, add up the total weekly steps for the smaller team. THEN take this smaller team’s total weekly steps and times them by the number calculated in step 1 above.
EXAMPLE: Most teams have 10 members, but one team has only 6 members. If the weekly steps for this team of 6 add up to 420,000, this number can be multiplied by 1.67 (10/6). The smaller team of 6 will then have an ‘adjusted’ weekly step count of 701,400, which will be ‘as if’ they had 10 members contributing at the same ‘rate’ as their 6 members.
Again, it is much better to have equal size teams in order to avoid having to adjust scores in this way, because adjusting scores can not only be confusing, but can also be seen as unfair (e.g., if the 4 strongest athletes in the workplace are allowed to form their own team).
Are there alternatives to forming teams that compete against one another?
Yes. Incentives could be created for the workplace as a whole (i.e., if the participants together reach X # of steps). Incentives can be creative, and don’t necessarily have to cost a lot to be motivational (e.g., fruit will be made available free for some period of time, or the whole team gets an extended lunch hour to do a fun activity together).
If participants are striving for 10,000 daily steps each (the ideal number for health benefits), for example, and you have 50 participants, you can give them a goal of 3,500,000 steps per week (10,000 steps per day x 7 days x 50 participants = 3,500,000), or 2650 kms (3,500,000/1320 = 2650 kms). Depending on the group, this is a fairly obtainable goal.
It is also possible for several workplaces to compete against one another, but ideally they will need to have approximately the same number of employees participating. Otherwise, you will need to use a similar adjustment to the one used for uneven teams.
Are there alternatives to offering prizes just to the winning team each week?
Yes. In fact, prizes distributed solely to the challenge leaders/winners may discourage those who are too far behind to be competitive. Consider instead (or in addition):
- Small prizes for each member of the top team each week, but stipulate that once a team wins, they cannot win again.
- Anyone over 69,999 steps each week is entered in a draw for a prize.
- Anyone who submits their steps each week is entered in a draw for a small prize.
If the goal is to reach 10,000 steps per day individually (the ideal number for health benefits), that is 70,000 steps per week per person.
Are bonus steps counted in addition to the number on my pedometer?
Bonus steps are meant to capture moderate to vigorous activities that aren’t accurately recorded on a pedometer (yardwork/housework/workout/cycling/sports…), or to capture activities when participants forget to wear a pedometer (jogging/walking). Double counting is to be avoided.
EXAMPLE: Participants who go for a run do not get to count both the steps on their pedometer AND get bonus points for that same run.
A general rule is 1,000 bonus steps per 10 mins of moderate intensity activity (e.g., weightlifting), and 2,000 bonus steps for vigorous intensity activity (e.g., fast cycling).
What if pedometers are counting steps when participants are not active (e.g., tracking ‘steps’ when driving on bumpy roads, using an ATV, etc.)?
‘Steps’ counted automatically on pedometers while driving on bumpy roads do not count. Participants should take note and delete accumulated steps.
How are participants’ POWER cards collected each week?
Here are some ideas for collecting POWER cards from team members:
- Men drop off their completed POWER cards each week in a ‘drop box’ for the team captain to pick up.
- Team captains collect POWER cards from each of their team members and provide their team’s total goals to the coach each week.
Any strategy can be used to collect the POWER cards as long as it is communicated clearly.
Who will be responsible for calculating the weekly team scores?
The team captains collect their team members’ POWER cards each week and coordinate with the coach to enter the scores on the tracking spreadsheet. The coach is responsible for tracking the team goals. Consider appointing an assistant coach in the event that the coach is unable to complete this task.
Can a participant have more than one POWER card on the go at a time?
The POWER cards involve tracking behavior individually; men may choose to have more than one card on the go at a time, however, doing an activity once can only be recorded on one POWER card.
EXAMPLE: only one ‘soft drink free day’ can be recorded each day.
Because of the nature of some of the activities, the maximum number of POWER cards men could complete is one per day.
Ultimately, it is up the workplace to decide whether or not to allow participants to have more than one POWER card on the go at a time.
EXAMPLE: A participant could complete a whole card on Day 1, save one square – tried a new fruit/veggie – then start a new card on Day 2, and complete it except the same square, go grocery shopping on Day 3 and buy 2 new fruits & veggies, then be able to finally cross off that square on both cards.
Can employees complete more than one of the quizzes at a time or complete the same quiz more than once?
Yes. Although a new quiz is featured each week, participants can complete one or all of them throughout the 4-week challenge. For example, they could complete all 4 quizzes in week 1, or come in at week 4 and do all 4 quizzes. They can also complete the same quiz multiple times for more entries in the draw. Participants will get one entry in the draw for each quiz they complete, including completing the same quiz multiple times. Communicate clearly so that all employees know they can complete multiple quizzes for additional entries in each weekly draw.
If you choose to use teams for this challenge, then the total number of quiz entries per team can be calculated and tracked by the POWERPLAY coach.
Is there a score employees must obtain (i.e., pass/fail) on each quiz in order to qualify for the draw?
No. There is no critical pass/fail score that must be obtained in order to qualify for the draw.
How will the coach know when employees have completed a quiz?
The quiz entries are stored electronically on the site. The coach can login and download a CSV file (which can be opened in Excel) to obtain the quiz entries.