Fitbit: Creating a Healthy Company Culture One Step at a Time

Visit Anytime Fitness headquarters in Hastings, Minnesota and you may notice quite a few employees walking around. Everyone is trying to stay one step ahead of each other thanks to a bit of friendly Fitbit competition.

Two months ago at an all-staff meeting, Anytime Fitness CEO Chuck Runyon and President Dave Mortensen surprised employees with Fitbit activity trackers for everyone – needless to say, we were all pretty pumped!

So, why is Anytime Fitness leadership investing in employees and giving everyone a Fitbit? Well, for a few reasons. “We’re in the wellness business, and Anytime Fitness should be an industry leader in supporting employee wellness,” Runyon said. “Understanding how employees use Fitbits will give valuable insight into how to build virtual coaching as well as how to create tools and integrated technology to virtually engage and support Anytime Fitness members.”

Anytime Fitness also supports employee personal growth and wants employees to learn more about the interaction between their bodies and activity, as well as the impact this activity and movement has on their mental acuity, stress and overall wellbeing.

A bit of friendly competition

Two months into the Fitbit challenge, and employees are stepping it up! It’s not uncommon to see many 20,000+ daily steps on the Anytime Fitness corporate group on But, what’s even cooler: Employees are increasing their activity levels thanks to Fitbit technology.

“I won’t go to bed if I haven’t taken at least 10,000 steps,” said Kellie Braun, Healthy Contributions account manager. She even takes the stairs every single day – and, she lives on the 21st floor of her condo building!

Anytime Fitness Fitbit Quote Tony the Tiger

Tony Nicholson, director of Anytime Health, doubled his steps from an average of 8,500 per day to between 15k and 18k after he joined the online corporate group. “So what changed? The group, the messages, the cheers, the taunts, my competitive juices were flowing… combination of the above?” he said. “Either way, it’s cool to see how a device like this, along with a virtual platform, really changes behaviors.”

Competition with colleagues also fuels Cail Morrison, vice president of franchise support, to keep moving every day. “It simply makes me conscious of my sitting or inactivity… I get up and move. It’s that simple,” he said, adding that it makes him a healthier, more active person.

The competition keeps Braun on her feet, too. She said the leaderboard could be all consuming… “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

I can attest to that, too! I check the leaderboard everyday to see where I’m at active minutes wise. Because training for an iron distance triathlon should put me at the top, right?!

Invigorating corporate culture

While all of us at corporate love a little friendly competition – we’re a fitness club, after all – Fitbit fits the Anytime Fitness culture well.

“It’s just another piece of the culture here,” Morrison said.

Not only does it bring out employees’ competitive bones and get them moving, it gets them talking to employees they don’t normally interact with – building an even bigger sense of community at corporate. Those new relationships are a great source of encouragement, as everyone keeps each other accountable to move a little bit more during the day.

“[The Fitbit] is a nice conversation piece, and everyone is so great at giving motivation!” Braun said.

What’s next at corporate?

Exciting things! Any new employee will receive a Fitbit upon hire. How cool is that?! And, employees receive a discount on additional devices so their loved ones can hop in on the fun. Braun even got her mom and aunt to jump on the Fitbit bandwagon. “My mom keeps beating me in steps!” she confessed.

We’re also launching a Fitbit training pilot in 12 Anytime Fitness clubs in hopes to enhance the member experience. Starting this June, 120 members will each receive a Fitbit to monitor their progress for 60 days. They’ll be broken down into four groups based on what kind of support they receive.

  • Members only with no in-person or virtual support
  • Members with support from a personal trainer
  • Members with support from small group training or boot camp
  • Members with virtual support

So… where’s your Fitbit?

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