#HealthySelfie: Social networking on the way to wellness

March 2, 2015

If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous nation on earth. The social network announced in late January that 1.39 billion people log in to Facebook every month. Of course, on virtually every social media channel, followers post the popular “selfie” photo of trips, parties, dinners, etc. But what if the selfie was turned on its head to represent something…healthier?

The Vitality program has already demonstrated to employers how interaction with a whole community of health-focused people can benefit their employees. Approximately 4,000 Vitality members are participating in our monthly health-focused webcasts, the Health FYI. When a few of the webcasts featured members sharing their wellness successes, other participants were encouraged to share their victories and the response was immediate.

To take these stories to social media, we introduced the #HealthySelfie campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Hiking a favorite trail, showing off dance moves, stretching before a day of construction work or drinking plenty of H2O — however our members make health a priority, we asked them to snap a pic and tag Vitality.  Submissions started pouring in – 500 members followed on Instagram in a few weeks.  To encourage them to get snappin’, we awarded the Vitality member whose photo best represents the monthly hashtag theme (announced in the Health FYI) with a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card.

In addition to the photos, many members shared how making healthy choices has impacted their lives for the better:

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 21 years old. No active young adult thinks they are susceptible to this disease, but sometimes your body just stops working properly. Participating in Vitality started with my company’s wellness program, but after two years and now Platinum Status, it helped put me back on track to managing my health by being aware of my yearly preventative care, diet, and exercise. My #HealthySelfie is about promoting a healthy lifestyle to not only prevent diabetes but also educate the public that it is a controllable disease. Millions of Type 1 & 2 diabetics and their families cope with its effects on a daily basis. It can be a tough road, but a manageable one until a true cure is found.

— Vitality Member, Monica P.

Cycling is a passion of mine outside of work. I’m training to not only be fit, but also to join fellow cyclists to challenge ourselves with enduring, exciting and scenic cycling adventures (not racing). Vitality has encouraged me to continue exercising more regularly and keep track of my daily activity, which has helped me lose 10 unwanted pounds since the New Year.

– Vitality Member, Patrick G.

I have always tried to eat well and stay active, but now that I get rewarded it makes it so much fun. I wanted to share my #EatingHealthyEveryday photo because this time last year I made a decision to quit the dieting fads and make healthy living a way of life! This has changed my life and I feel so much better!!

– Vitality Member, Angela F.

Now in its eight month, #HealthySelfie is shaping up as the place to be for Vitality members to share their health improvement experiences for the better. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to check out all the entries.

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