Stepathlon: A novel way to combat lifestyle diseases

The wearable devices, apps or gym membership is not what makes one healthy. We are in the human behaviour business and, therefore, seek to change lives through a fun, non-prescriptive, community-based approach that leverages healthy competition with rewards and recognition, says Ravi Krishnan, CEO & co-founder of Stepathlon Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd. (SLPL), a global wellness company that aims to create an ecosystem promoting corporate health, happiness and productivity by increasing daily activity, through a unique mass participation initiative, in an e-mail interaction with Vivek Ratnakar of Elets News Network.


Please elaborate on the concept of virtual race, how was it conceptualised and what was the main idea behind it?

The human race has stopped moving. The idea behind Stepathlon is to combat the sedentary lifestyle through an engage first, then make healthy approach. Lifestyle diseases are called as such because of the way people live. Through Stepathlon, we seek to modify peoples behaviour in a fun and sustainable manner. We use a combination of self-quantification, gamification, gratification and mass with the goal of creating a healthier, fitter, happier and more productive population. We have realised that we are in the human behaviour business. The wearable devices and gym membership do not make you fit. It is continuous, relevant engagement that catalyses positive, sustainable behavioural change. The fact that Stepathlon can be adopted by anyone, anywhere, anytime makes it user-friendly to both employees and their companies.

Tell us about Stepisode 7, how is it different from earlier editions?


This year, were moving into a 75-day race format to be conducted across three stages — focused on WOW “ Work or Workout (healthy weight management), Nutrition (eating right) and MOM “ Mind over Matter (Stress Management) “ to facilitate greater engagement.

During Stepisode 7, the participants will also be armed with a new and improved Stepathlon app which features organisational and individual data analysis, and improved tools for greater engagement among participants and within the organisation like push notifications, a revamped Groups and Leagues section, and social sharing. The race gets even more exciting with contests, challenges, quizzes, tips, and rewards. Our platform is also integrated with apps like Google Fit as well as wearables including Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, and Goqii which makes it easier for the users of these technologies to sync their steps with the Stepathlon platform.

All participants stand a chance to win from a prize pool of worth Rs 20 lakhs, including daily prizes.

The Stepisode 7 is also the foundation of a 12-month health and wellness programme, combined with 10 scientifically proven Stepping Stones, is designed to help individuals and organizations alike reach their health goals in a fun, engaging and simple manner.

What role your partners like Google Fit, Fitbit, etc are set to play in making Stepisode 7 a success?

The wearable device/app/gym membership is not what makes you healthy. We are in the human behaviour business and, therefore, seek to change lives through a fun, non-prescriptive, community-based approach that leverages healthy competition with rewards and recognition. We have, for the benefit of our participants, included the more popular apps and devices in the market to make participation as easy as possible.

Do you have any mechanism to capture the health data of participants that can be further used to prepare better plans and activities?

As part of our race events, individual participants complete a pre- and post-event survey questionnaire on our mobile and web-based platform.

In the last few years, we have also enlisted the help of globally-renowned experts, to release our very own mental health survey and cardiovascular study, to measure and uate the impact of participating in Stepathlon. While over 10,000 people voluntarily took the Stepathlon mental health survey during Stepisode 4, our cardiovascular study was covered in over 200 publications across five continents, including the prestigious Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Moreover, our new and improved app is equipped with organisational and individual data analyses, providing accurate diabetes, sleep, wellness & cardiovascular scores. In addition, the Stepathlon platform with features such as newsfeeds, maps, leader boards and health reports, only incites the participants to take the requisite steps towards bettering their overall health.



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