Minnesotans Lose 75,000 Pounds in "Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge"

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More than 22,000 Minnesotans participated in statewide health game powered by RedBrick’s social engagement platform

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--More than 22,000 Minnesotans kept their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and get healthier as part of the Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge. The Challenge, sponsored by the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota and powered by RedBrick Health’s social engagement platform, built on the success of last year’s Biggest Loser Summer Challenge among seven of Minnesota’s largest employers.

Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge participants formed more than 4,000 teams in 14 divisions comprised of coworkers, community groups and families throughout the state. Combined, the teams lost more than 75,000 pounds while logging more than 23 million minutes of physical activity in just 12 weeks from January 23 through April 15, 2011. The participants in the division based around Twin Cities radio personalities won the weight-loss portion of the statewide competition – losing an average of 2.7 percent of their total weight. Employees of General Mills won the competitions for levels of exercise and good nutrition.

“The Biggest Loser Minnesota Challenge was the friendly push I needed to take charge of my health,” said Keith Trotter, an employee from Medica, an employer member of the Alliance. “Being able to sign up as a family made it easy for us to make healthier choices together. We started eating out less and finding healthier ways to stay active, like our weekly family exercise outing. We were able to track our progress online and so far my family has lost more than 33 pounds combined. We have a new outlook on life and we are going to keep going even though the challenge is over.”

The latest competition was open to all Minnesota residents who joined the challenge individually, as a family, with their employer or as part of a team tied to a favorite sports franchise or news celebrity. Teams from local businesses and chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, and community organizations also participated in the challenge. Teams earned points for tracking healthy behaviors such as exercise, healthy eating and weight loss. Real-time results were available online, allowing teams to track their progress compared to others and take the steps necessary to climb the leader board.

“We partnered with RedBrick to engage Minnesotans statewide in working toward a healthier lifestyle,” said Rick Kupchella, co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota. “RedBrick’s online platform makes organizing and operating a competition of this size simple. It taps into the power of social influence and support to make a big impact on the health of a large number of people across the state.”

Leveraging Social Networks
Social games and competitions for health are one of the most popular and effective tools organizations are using to engage their members in better health. Last year’s Biggest Loser Summer Challenge demonstrated the power of coalitions to drive better health and wellness in communities by having more than 10,000 employees log more than 16.5 million minutes of exercise and lose over 37,000 pounds. RedBrick was the first health management provider to roll out a multi-tiered team-oriented health competition of this magnitude.

Research analysis conducted by RedBrick using data from the Summer Challenge found increased levels of participation and higher success rates for individuals who participated on teams of two or more versus those who participated individually. The analysis also found those individuals who participated in teams had significantly greater weight loss than those who participated as individuals.

Along with forming or joining teams, RedBrick’s social engagement platform empowers personal and group motivation by allowing participants to:

  • Access social networking elements, including leader boards and message boards
  • Track and graph weight loss, minutes of physical activity and points for healthy nutrition practices
  • View team progress and standings both within and across groups and divisions
  • Use mobile devices to report weight measures during the competition

“We are proud and excited to have helped power these social health competitions and improve the health of Minnesotans,” said Kyle Rolfing, chief executive officer for RedBrick Health. “Tapping into the power of social networks is an effective and impactful way to involve employees and community members in their health. Our health engagement technology provides coalitions and other groups a simple solution for utilizing social competitions to drive participation and create a culture of health.” Additional information about the success of The Biggest Loser Challenges is available on RedBrick Health’s website.

About The Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota
Members of the Alliance for a Healthier Minnesota are united in the common belief that when we work together and provide the right tools for prevention, we can help Minnesotans live longer, healthier lives. Collectively, members of the Alliance employ more than 150,000 Minnesotans – and more than 800,000 people globally. The group believes employers can drive true health care reform through health and wellness campaigns, and in working together for the common good. The Alliance believes healthier communities will make for healthier people, healthier corporations and healthier economies.

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