Des Moines teachers to get free FitBits

You may either find this story making you angry or you may think that it is a positive step by one government authority to do the right thing.

At the heart of the matter is the desire to provide wellness incentives to employees but the problem may be in the methodology. The employees are getting money irrespective of what they do as long as they sign up to participate and wear their devices. 

On the other hand, it is a FitBit and it seems like a every expensive incentive with little to prove that the device will drive employees to get fitter. What do you think?

Employees of the Des Moines Public Schools can forget about “no pain, no gain” when it comes to working out.

Next school year, both the fit and flabby will be eligible to receive a Fitbit, one of the trendiest pieces of workout gear, and the only place the pain might be felt is in the public’s wallet.

The school district plans to spend $375,000 to provide “free” Fitbits for employees participating in its Healthy U Wellness Program.

“Getting the Fitbit is one way that we can incentivize our employees to think about being more active to maybe use it as a motivational tool,” Des Moines Public Schools Wellness Coordinator Tammy Steinwandt told WHO-TV.

Getting paid $200 for participating in the wellness program may be an even greater motivation, especially since participants in the program won’t have to break a sweat to earn that money. Just enrolling in the program by having a free biometric scan and filling out an online form gets a full-time employee $100.