Norwegian Wellness Provider Spearheads First-of-its-Kind Municipal Public Health Campaign with Notable Success

Kjekt å vite

Project: Optime Challenge, Notodden and Hjartdal municipality Partners: Optime Subsea (initiator), Telen (media) Duration: 8 weeks Application: Myworkout GO, contest module, seminar with Jan Helgerud

Photo: Telen

Trondheim, Norway - April 09, 2024 - A new milestone has been reached. For the first time, not just one, but two municipalities have been engaged to participate in a preventive public health campaign. Myworkout, a leading Norwegian research-based fitness app, has facilitated this groundbreaking initiative. The campaign has already achieved impressive results in terms of improving public health.

Pioneering Public Health Effort

The Optime Challenge was initiated by Optime Subsea, facilitated by technology and expertise from Myworkout and media coverage from Telen.

The purpose of the public health campaign was to give something back to society and help give citizens the tools and expertise to improve their health. Optime Subsea therefore invited the entire business community in Notodden to take part in a public health campaign. The initiator, Optime Subsea, challenged Notodden's largest employer, Notodden Municipality, to join the Optime Challenge. This is the first time in Norway that a public health player and a municipality have joined forces on such a comprehensive project focusing on preventive health measures.

Inactivity costs businesses and society dearly. As Norwegians are becoming less and less active, we have a long way to go to reach the recommended activity level. Inactivity can lead to a number of lifestyle diseases, and over 40 percent of the Norwegian population now live at high risk of developing these diseases, which negatively affects quality of life and can shorten life.

The Norwegian Directorate of Health recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, or 75 to 150 minutes of high intensity exercise. Myworkout recommends as little as 32 HIT minutes a week, and if we can achieve this, we could save society up to 455 billion kroner annually.

The reasons for this huge economic benefit are many, but among them we find that active people are generally more engaged citizens and have lower healthcare costs. Health expenditure plays a major role here, as approximately NOK 288 billion was spent on healthcare for Norwegians in 2013, equivalent to almost NOK 57,000 per capita.

Significant effects on health and finances

The campaign's phase 2 report shows significant health benefits among participants, with key findings indicating an average increase of 4.5 quality-adjusted years per participant. In addition, participants will statistically experience an average reduction of 2.5 sick days, which corresponds to an annual reduction in sickness absence costs of NOK 7,450 per person. Over the next four decades, it is estimated that these changes in health status will save Notodden approximately NOK 3.1 billion in health-related costs.

Almost 40,000 training sessions were completed by 943 active participants. 91% of all registered participants were active in the period from February 1 to March 31. Of these, 703 people contributed with HIT points that help create these valuable changes in physical capacity. Through the campaign, we have exceeded the WHO guidelines for recommended activity by 163% and achieved 97% of Myworkout's recommendations for high intensity activity.

Impact on the local community

"There were many more registrations than we had anticipated. We would never have achieved such a mobilization on our own. I'm not quite sure what led to such a high level of support and engagement, but it turned out really well and has become a talking point throughout the municipality. We would consider our participation in this campaign to be successful. And I like the idea that Notodden is now a vibrant town. People are hopefully now more aware that getting their heart rate up is good and more aware of effective health practices." - Signe, Public Health Coordinator for Notodden Municipality
"I think the campaign has led to a new awareness among people, especially about efficiency in training and what works. At least in terms of the number of training minutes and what you get in return.  In Notodden municipality's internal groups, we see that 4x4 training is common - in addition to other activities. Compared to other campaigns we have run in the past, the Optime Challenge has succeeded in recruiting many participants. It has been triggering. We're looking forward to participating in phase 3." - Hans-Olav legger, Sports Consultant in Notodden Municipality

A model for future public health initiatives

The Optime Challenge has demonstrated that leading-edge technology and research-based training can have a demonstrable impact on the health and economy of an entire community. The initiative has made Notodden a vibrant town - and a beacon for others to be inspired by for future preventative health campaigns.

About Myworkout

Myworkout is a leading Norwegian research-based fitness app that works to improve public health through a digital gamified approach. With a focus on preventive health measures, Myworkout aims to create a healthier society by making leading research available to everyone.

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