The Health of Fun

As a relatively new Brickhead, when discussing what it’s like working for RedBrick Health, it’s impossible not to mention the cultural attribute of fun.  It’s one of those qualities, difficult to measure, that many would regard as frivolous (in comparison to more easily measurable attributes).  But get this – fun is serious business.  Applied to behavioral change, it can make the difference in sustained employee health and wellness. 

The theory of fun is simple – a person is more likely to work harder at something when it’s enjoyable and entertaining.  A “fun theory” award site shows this belief in action – inspiring individuals to take the stairs instead of riding the adjoining escalator merely by introducing an element of fun.  As the video proves, the positive benefits transcend individual experience – people are not only motivated to participate in healthy behaviors longer with the added element of fun, but that participation can become socially contagious – expanding the reach of the behavior change umbrella.



A recent Wall Street Journal article noted how RedBrick is leading the charge to incorporate gaming principles into our health behavior change solution.  We do so because we realize how difficult the task is of truly changing unhealthy behavior.  We tend to discount gaming (fun and play) as idle qualities, but the truth is humans learn through play.  Its power is wedded to our DNA.  From the moment we’re born, physical development, mental expansion and cognitive advancements are directly tied to engaging in play.

Introducing play into the behavioral change process allows individuals to tap into their intrinsic connection of play and learning.  The medium reinforces learned values that already exist.   

Who knew fun could be so serious?  But let’s face it – if we’re facing the daunting prospect of changing our own unhealthy behaviors (smoking, poor eating habits, failing to manage conditions and all the rest) we’d much rather be facing them with a smile than a frown.  The road to change, after all, is a long one.  So when I explain to people RedBrick is a fun company, I’m actually revealing a much deeper view of our commitment to helping people be healthy.

  – Andy Gonerka, Marketing, RedBrick Health

4 responses to this post.

  1. Love redbrick’s thinking here. Gaming theory is really an approach companies don’t utilize and could.


  2. Similarly, Target uses fun as a brand strategy to engage consumers and boost retail sales.


  3. Posted by Paula Heikell on August 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    …I couldn’t agree more with your article. If you build time for fun into your life, BIG THINGS HAPPEN, in all aspects of what you do. Good article.


  4. Posted by Charlie Comero on October 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Andy, the formula your post articulates of fun-health-attitude minds the gap between current behavior and future behavior in such a way that creates sustainable behavioral change. This begs the question, why wouldn’t we always pick fun?! Great article and well-played, sir (pun intended).

    What a great company culture.


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