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ShapeUp’s Fit & Festive Challenge Helps Employees Stay Healthy During the Holidays

October  19, 2011 – Providence, RI. The holiday season is rife with stress and unhealthy foods, so it should come as no surprise that on average, adults gain one pound of body fat over the holidays and never lose it once the season has passed . Compounded over a lifetime, this weight gain has tremendous implications for health and wellness – consider gaining 30 pounds over 30 years in just this manner.

To help employees maintain their weight and begin the new year on a healthy foot, ShapeUp has updated and relaunched the Fit & Festive challenge, a team competition that teaches participants how to balance their festive celebrations with fitness-related behaviors. This new version of the Fit & Festive challenge updates a proven model.  In 2010, the average Fit & Festive participant exceeded the challenge goal of weight maintenance and actually lost an average of 1.62 pounds over the course of the program.

Taking place over a six week period, ShapeUp’s Fit & Festive challenge uses social networking and gaming mechanics to guide teams of employees through healthy holiday decisions. Participants learn how to properly manage the demands of the winter season with easy-to-follow fitness tips, ways to best approach huge holiday meals, and suggestions for how to relax and manage stress. Together, teammates track their successes, share tips with one another, and encourage each other to stay on track and committed to health as they begin a new year together.

“The holiday season sets the stage for the new year, so it’s important to have a healthy approach to celebrating,” said Dr. Rajiv Kumar, founder and chief medical officer at ShapeUp. “ShapeUp’s program unites coworkers through healthy behaviors, ensuring a level of accountability that is otherwise absent from the holiday season. By banding together over common health goals, employees will be healthier throughout the stressful winter months and contribute to a more vibrant workplace year round.”

Fit & Festive is one in a suite of online wellness challenges developed by ShapeUp. The company’s innovative and fun challenges include Ready, Set, Go, a walking and fitness challenge; Fight The Flu, a challenge that encourages employees to get flu shots; Flex Your Food, a nutrition challenge focusing on incremental dietary improvement; and many more. Each of these programs is borne out of ShapeUp’s commitment to social health solutions and the latest evidence-based practices in the wellness industry and they all make use of the latest social gaming technology advancements in order to make participation fun and effective.

ShapeUp’s clinically-proven social approach to employee wellness has ushered in successes at more than 200 client workplaces worldwide. A corporate wellness program that fosters employee connectivity through health and wellness activities, ShapeUp helps large employers keep their employees productive, healthy and engaged.

For more information about ShapeUp’s Fit & Festive and other wellness challenges, visit http://www.shapeup.com/lp/fit-and-festive.

About ShapeUp

ShapeUp is the first corporate wellness company focused on leveraging the power of trusted social networks to promote healthy living. Founded in 2006, ShapeUp has pioneered an innovative approach to behavior change that uses social networking technology to reduce health care costs and improve the health of large populations through peer motivation, support, and accountability. ShapeUp’s evidence-based social engagement platform covers over two million lives and is used by more than 200 employers and health plans. For more information, visit http://www.shapeup.com and follow us on Twitter.