Leading a Wellness Revolution


hubbub health uses behavior change science to rethink wellness programs.

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hubbub health uses behavior change science to rethink wellness programs.

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Brian Berchtold, VP of sales and marketing at hubbub health, walks
on his treadmill desk while chatting with Adam Lynch, VP of
product and technology.

Three years ago, Brian Berchtold was a poster boy for the corporate workaholic. Like many business executives, he spent long weeks on the road and hours sitting at his desk. As his career took off, his health suffered. Forty pounds overweight and on seven medications, he knew his lifestyle needed to change. The wakeup call came when he was diagnosed as prediabetic.

“Everything became a huge, onerous burden for me,” Berchtold says. But then he took on a leadership role as vice president of sales and marketing at hubbub health. The Portland-based startup uses behavior change science and a mobile-ready platform to make wellness solutions more effective. Berchtold began actively participating in hubbub’s social challenges, gradually improving his diet and increasing physical activity.

As a business leader, Berchtold is convinced by results, and he cites his own transformation from sedentary to active lifestyle as one of many examples of the program’s effectiveness. He says hubbub works because it’s rooted in proven strategies that result in long-term changes: wellness challenges based on science, inclusion of social networks and flexible options all help boost employee health. The result is a more productive workforce, increased engagement and diminished medical claims.

Healthy challenges are at hubbub’s core. Based on scientific research, the company designed two-week challenges to keep employees engaged. These challenges break down wellness into small steps, providing incentives (like Amazon gift cards) that build momentum and promote friendly competition. “Changing habits is difficult,” admits Adam Lynch, vice president of product and technology, “but the first step can be easy and fun. These challenges make the process feel easier than it really is.”

hubbub includes employee friends and family in challenges. By enabling a wider network of support, companies are seeing their employees more motivated to live healthier lifestyles. Employees at Maps Credit Union in Salem have become more proactive about health due to the family involvement hubbub facilitates. “We have seen a decrease in absenteeism and better employee engagement,” says Maps’ CEO Mark Zook. “Our group’s medical claims have diminished—directly impacting our bottom line.”

hubbub also provides flexibility, letting employees choose between challenges. hubbub demonstrates that allowing employees to choose what works best for them has a direct impact on engagement numbers. Due to this individualized approach, clients like Goldenwest Credit Union have seen 100% of their employees enroll and 80% actively complete 1,878 challenges in the first three months alone.

“We’re seeing companies transform their culture and improve productivity because their employees feel better,” says Berchtold who, as a fitting example of such a transformation, recently completed his third marathon (he’s run seven half marathons). He says employees are a company’s greatest asset and that business leaders need to be more invested in finding a wellness solution that works. “It’s time to take wellness out of the ‘HR file cabinet’ and elevate the decision to the leadership table.” n

Learn more about the science that makes hubbub health work for so many companies at www.hubbubhealth.com.