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Flashmob Workouts in Project Space E

Every morning IDEO's 'Team Frank' comes together for a quick workout, both to build team morale and to get their creative juices flowing.

Photo of Alaine Newland
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Every morning, before doing anything else, a project team in IDEO's SF Studio runs a quick work out: squats, push-ups, crunches, and some wild card exercises like 80's step-touches and jumping jacks. Their first week they started with ten of each, and each week they add one more. 

They email a daily reminder with the song of choice to the entire office, so anyone can join – and when we hear the music pumping from across the office, we know it's time to work it. There's never any pressure to join, but the camaraderie and energy from that project space is contagious.

"Every time I hear that music, I jump out of my seat, put on my gold cape, and run over to join them!" –Em Havens, OpenIDEO's Meetup Community Lead

They have described many benefits from this team exercise:

  • These morning jolts get their juices flowing, arguably more than a cup of coffee! They can then jump into the rest of their day feeling energized and focused.
  • They all feel themselves getting stronger each week and are inspired by these tangible, measurable results.
  • This daily team moment lets them physically experience how they're learning and growing as a team. It's an all-hands moment where they both hold themselves accountable and support each other for success.


How does your workplace use healthy initiatives as a foundation for team-building? How can we use technology to activate a community around healthy activities?



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Photo of Ahmed Rub

I love what you are doing !!! actually the first thing I do when I wake up is exercising to get that juices flowing !!
Ive been reading the book with the name of "the power of habit" the book says to form a habit you need trigger--> behavior ---> rewords , I can relate what the book says to what you do every morning :
Trigger is : song or music in the morning
Behavior : squats, push-ups, crunches ...
rewords : Jump into the rest of the day energized
Great routine !!

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Thanks for sharing Alaine! The energy of flash mobs is infectious! What happens in your offices after hours? Are there cleaning and maintenance crews that come in? If yes the folk doing that work may fall into the target group here and may have less access to wellness activities. Might there be a way to use tech to share your flashmob culture with those that also work in that space? Might a ripple effect be created?

Photo of OpenIDEO

Congrats on this post being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Alaine Newland

Thanks! if anyone enjoyed this post and would like to share with your network, you can use this tweet:

Flashmobs at the office? ideo.pn/1FS9F1B How a team at @ideo raises morale with healthy actions #Healthy_Lives

Photo of Eliza Rosenbaum

I love how they've started emailing out to the IDEO office to let us know that the workout is happening - and what the song of the day is, of course! I think I'd work out a whole lot more if my friends and colleagues pinged me when they were about to work out. Wouldn't it be cool of there was an app where you could indicate "hey, I'm exercising in 20 minutes!" that would geotag you, allow you to select what your activity is, and alert your desired friends/neighbors to see if they wanted to join??

Photo of Alaine Newland

like my reply to Shane's comment: OpenIDEO, steal this idea! ^ there should be an app for that ;)

Photo of Shane Zhao

Rockin' post Alaine! I think the quote of Em perfectly captured to the essence of this whole IDEO flashmob phenomenon. We used to look over with looks of bewilderment. Now people flock over to Space E whenever they see the email alerts! To echo's Eliza thought, I wonder how many of these awesome impromptu workouts would spring up around the city if there was a technology that allowed people to create and share their own flashmob movements?

Photo of Alaine Newland

OpenIDEO steal this idea! ^ Would love to see a technology emerge that invites people to spontaneous workout flashmobs around the city. This is kind of a 'twist what exists' moment where I'm sure tech already exists for flashmobbing but perhaps we repurpose it for healthy activities.