The Forum Health Challenge

Over the past nine years of working with hundreds of Forums, one of the most common topics I hear is health.

Some groups only address the topic of health during their monthly update, others incorporate it into their monthly goals, and a select few have created creative ways to rally the whole group to improve their health together.

One group health challenge I particularly enjoy involves everyone putting $500 into a pool of money for the Forum. Then each person sets a BMI goal over a set period of time. Every month each person reports on their BMI and actions they are doing to improve it. If the person achieves their BMI goal, then the money is returned to them. However, if the person doesn’t reach their goal, the money goes towards the overall Forum.

This group health challenge is effective because of a few factors.

  1. The group works together to help each other achieve their BMI goal. According to a study published in the American Society of Training and Development, people are 65% more likely to meet a goal after committing to another person. This means that having a support system, such as a group or accountability partner, can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving a goal.
  2. They incorporated the challenge into their monthly meeting, so it is top of mind for everyone every month. In a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, researchers found that regular, brief reminders (via text message) to participants who were trying to quit smoking increased the likelihood of quitting by 27%. This suggests that ongoing reminders can be a powerful tool for achieving behavior change goals.
  3. The $500 ante is enough to make even a successful business person feel the pain if they don’t hit their goal. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, people who put their own money at risk by committing to a goal were more likely to follow through and achieve their goal. In the study, participants who put money at risk were 30% more likely to achieve their goal than those who did not.

Group health challenges can play a powerful role in promoting health and wellness among their members. By setting goals, creating challenges, and fostering a supportive and positive environment, groups can help their members achieve their personal health objectives and improve their overall well-being.