The importance of healthy employees

17.11.2015

In the lead up to Christmas 2014, Myworkout was granted financial support from Innovation Norway for an IRD project – support that will contribute to the development of new products and solutions leading to international market success (Source: Innovation Norway). In Myworkout´s case, this grant will be used to develop flexible training solutions for businesses worldwide.

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Knut Løkke, CEO Myworkout

“Employees that are in good health represent economic value for the company. Myworkout can deliver a flexible,
research-based training solution directly to employees,” says CEO and founder of Myworkout, Knut Løkke. “We are able to this using a combination of testing, statistics, gamification, inspiration and motivation.”

Why businesses?                                                                   

Myworkout aims to improve public health, and believe it is both important and appropriate that companies offer training to employees. This will not only improve the health of employees, a healthy employee will also work harder and have less sick days.

“The effect is not only better health, other benefits are increased well-being, improved performance at work and, perhaps most importantly, a longer life. This also represents a value for each employee. Myworkout should be a tool to increase these values,” Løkke explains.

During the IRD project, which lasts one year, Myworkout will in collaboration with Powel AS develop a training solution that is tailored for national and international companies. Powel is a leading provider of software solutions for energy companies, contractors and the public sector. They have 380 employees in seven countries, and this partnership will therefore provide Myworkout with the opportunity to develop a final product that appeals to many cultures and languages​.

Head for innovation

Challenges and development go hand in hand, and Myworkout was faced with some challenges from Bård Benum,

Bård Benum, Ceo Powel

Bård Benum, Ceo Powel

CEO of Powel, before they agreed to be part of the project.

“Benum gave us some challenges, such as adapting the system to Garmin Vivofit that they had already invested in for their employees, which we did. Garmin has actually also been participating in the project, which offers many opportunities,” Løkke says.

“Powel should be commended for their willingness to contribute, they have a head for innovation,” he adds.

Benum says he looks forward to the cooperation and that he likes the approach to exersise that Myworkout stands for.

“Traditional activities tend to trigger those that are already active, but we hope we can reach out to even more employees now,” Benum says. “Additionly, the concept is interesting for a business like Powel, who have many offices spread across several countries. Myworkout is far ahead of many others in terms of utilisation of IT and “Internet of Things”, and this is exciting for us as a technology company,” he says.

“It is also important that we have a solid foundation in a highly professional environment. This was also important to us when we made the decision to join the project,” he continues.

The importantce of good health

The CEO continues to say that employees’ health is as important to the business as the employee.

– Being in good health is generally important for the employees, but it is also important for us as an employer that our employees stay healthy and have the energy to perform well at work. Being in good health is essential for this, both physically and mentally.

Benum hopes the project with Myworkout will have a motivating effect on Powel’s employees, and says he has received positive reactions from those involved so far.

“We expect that we will have even more employees who understand and are motivated for physical activity. It will also be exciting to see how we can be involved in designing the scheme.”

Measuring the effect of training

The main task of Myworkout is documenting that the training actually works.

– We will document by measuring employees’ biological age before, during and after the project, Løkke explains.

A biological age-test is a complex test based on research from NTNU, but Myworkout has simplified it for employees, and the “test subjects” do not have to wear themselves out completely.

“You will experience some shortness of breath, but nothing more than that. Employees can also perform the test themselves without the need for assistance,” Løkke says.

Empowering

The project between Myworkout and Powel is divided into three phases: Test Group 1, Test Group 2 and All Employees.

“The project will practice a low-threshold approach to the dissemination of knowledge and adapted instruction in an inspiring and motivating way. Empowering is the key word,” Løkke says.

Since Powel is an international company, Myworkout will create both a Norwegian and an English version. Employees can access the platform using a mobile, tablet or laptop, and exercise can be performed at home, outdoors, at work or at the gym.

“It is essential to maintain user friendliness. If an employee wishes to use an external fitness app, a fitness bracelet or a watch, we will have the solutions for that too, the CEO of Myworkout explains.

Support and future plans

The support from Innovation Norway is essential for the project, and it is due to this support that Myworkout can afford to take the risk on such a complex project.

“Thanks to the support we receive from Innovation Norway, Myworkout is capable of providing the project with ten FTEs, including Professors of Medicine and doctoral degrees in technology. With Innovation Norway on board, Myworkout also get enhanced credibility, making it easier to be noticed by potential businesses and partners, he says.

What is the plan for the fitness company going forward?

“Our next step is to strengthen and develop Myworkout. Many large and small companies and organisations would benefit from this solution, from schools and sports clubs to companies, training centres and associations. To be able to deliver the platform, it must be well thought through and tested. There is no point developing a solution that is unable to handle the potential.

“Right now though, our main focus lie with Powel, Løkke concludes.