Did you use Apple Watch or the Apple Workout to burn off those Thanksgiving Day calories with a 5K run or walk? If you did, you probably received one of Apple’s new achievement badges, not to mention a sense of superiority over your couch-clinging family members. The holiday 5K badge marks the first time Apple utilized an “achievement” since the watch hit the market. iMedicalApps wrote about these Apple health badges in 2014, and it’s great to see them finally happening.
On the Monday before Thanksgiving, millions of Apple Watch users received the following message:
Thanksgiving Day Challenge
Earn this special achievement on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th when you complete a walk, run or wheelchair workout of at least 5K (3.1 mi) in the Apple Watch Workout app, or any app that records these workouts into the iPhone Health App. You’ll also earn a special Messages app sticker!
A “digital medal” might seem superfluous, but it’s been shown that incentives, even intangible ones, can help those losing weight. And new studies prove that using a fitness tracker can increase longevity if people use them.
While the challenge badge isn’t the most groundbreaking feature Apple has ever created, it certainly is an innovative way to motivate users to get healthy — millions of users that is. There’s plenty of other opportunities for badges as well: motivating the bleary-eyed and hungover on New Year’s day to get up and do a walk/jog or 5-mile Fourth of July badge or even a monthly/weekly challenge to keep fitness tracking users in check.
We’d love for Apple to announce how many people actually followed through and achieved the health badge.