A Racery virtual race can nearly double exercise rates

As companies and other organizations seek to promote fitness with individual incentives, a key solution often gets ignored. New research by the University of Pennsylvania shows that competition can nearly double people’s workout levels. Yet because most staffers exercise away from the office, their activities have zero impact on their colleagues’ attitudes or workout rates.

The solution:

Racery Virtual Communities - Map ProgressTo highlight exercise no matter where or when it happens, Racery maps staff exercise on a virtual route that’s visible to all participants via the web, apps or e-mail. As each staffer’s exercise gets converted into progress on the route, colleagues feel like they’re exercising together. Participants can compete individually or in teams. Other exciting Racery features — bibs, awards, tips, passing alerts — gently reinforce community and competition.

“Competitive groups frame relationships in terms of goal-setting by the most active members,” says Damon Centola, an associate professor in University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and senior author of a recent paper that examined in the impact of competition on exercise. “These relationships help to motivate exercise because they give people higher expectations for their own levels of performance.” Watch the video to get a full rundown on the research… 

The research:

The motivation:

“People were so involved in trying to outdo each other they forgot they were doing something good for themselves,” says Lisa Hara, Director of Human Resources at Chicago-based ShowingTime.

“This race keeps me focused on my goals every day… I think: ‘Ryan is right on my heels and I only need a couple of miles to stay ahead of him,’” says Jane Halpin, Associate Director of Pre-Award Research Administration at Duke University School of Nursing.

“The community Racery creates is infectious. It takes engagement in employee wellness programs to a whole new level,” says Jay Groves, Executive Director of Population Health Management at Fitness & Wellness Professional Services.


Racery’s software and staff power your virtual challenge, so you need to invest less than an hour in the company’s virtual challenge. Your work is simple: Paris Virtual Challenge Eiffel Tower Street View

  • You pick from dozens of routes — Italy, Iceland, Bali, Route 66 — or Racery creates a custom route that fits your group’s mission.
  • You pick the features that correspond your organization’s needs and budget.
  • You promote the virtual challenge to your stake-holders.