“Walking is man’s best medicine”
Consistent physical activity, including walking, has been shown to improve quality of life, promote healthy aging, maintain mental health, and prevent chronic disease.
In 2017, the Marion County Hospital District developed a competition-based smart phone application that tracks activity, provides health information, and rewards users for physical activity.
Research indicates that health information technology is an effective tool for physical activity interventions and over 30% of cell phone owners use their phones to seek health information.
Some features of the Active Marion Project application:
- Free to download – available for IOS and Android smart devices
- Integrates with FitBit, Apple Health, and Google Fit
- Earn points for each step. The more points = more rewards
- Join a team to build a social support network and view leader boards
- Messaging allows users to communicate with fellow teammates
- Calendar of community events focused on health behaviors, nutrition, and exercise
- Quarterly challenges and recognition
Why should I sign up?
Consistent physical activity, including walking, has been shown to improve quality of life, promote healthy aging, maintain mental health, and prevent chronic disease. To encourage Marion County to be more physically active, we created the AMP smart phone application. The app is an innovative health initiative, developed by the Marion County Hospital District, which uses friendly competition to encourage people to engage in physical activity in our communities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Participating in regular physical activity provides many health benefits…Reducing risk of some of health conditions”.
AMP is a free a tool to use to track your steps and have fun while doing it.
Download the app now!
Easy as 1-2-3
Step #1: Download the free app in the ITunes or Google Play store.
Step #2: Complete the short registration information. Input zip code of where you live or work (Marion County only). Create a password. Don’t forget to add your profile picture.
Step #3: Start walking. Participants of all ages and abilities are invited to track their walking in our tracking system to help achieve that goal.
How are steps calculated?
Do I need to wear a fitness tracker?
All step data for AMP is gathered from IOS (Apple) Health or Google Fit Health, these health apps are standard on more recent smart phones. These app integrate with most fitness tracking devices or apps. If you use a wearable fitness tracker, make sure that you allow Apple Health or Google Fit to sync up with your device. Every time you open the AMP app, your steps will automatically update and so will the leaderboards. So remember to open the app frequently to make sure your steps are being properly synced and updated.
No manual data entry is required. It is recommended to use a fitness tracker for best and most accurate devices. If you don’t have a wearable fitness tracker, no worries- your iPhone or Android will track your steps automatically.
How many steps should I take per day?
The American Heart Association recommends 10,000 steps (or approximately 5 miles or 8km) per day for overall good health and well-being. This can be a lot for many people, so start with small steps and build up to 10,000 steps bit by bit.
Can I include other physical activity besides walking?
Any movement will can be recorded by your smartphone if you have the phone on you or am using a fitness tracker. So dancing, aerobics, gardening, running and gardening are fine. Cycling, swimming or other activities will be included if you carry your smartphone or wear a tracker. At this time, steps can not be entered manually.
Syncing Fitness trackers
AMP now has a way to directly sync FitBit. No 3rd party apps needed. Follow these steps to sync AMP with Fitbit
While most wearables allow Apple and Google to sync data, we have found that trackers such as Garmin and Samsung Gear do not share data with Apple Health or Google Fit. There are 3rd party apps that can help.
Here is a step by step guide of how to sync Garmin and Samsung Fitness Trackers with Android and Apple devices.
- Sync Apple Watch with AMP app
- Sync Apple or Android device with Samsung Fitness Tracker
- Sync Apple or Android device with Garmin Fitness Tracker
If you are having trouble with the app syncing to your device, please make sure you have the latest version of the AMP app. If that does not work, please shoot us an email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can help.
How are points earned?
Earn 1 point for every 100 steps a day (no more than 200 points per day = 20,000 steps)
Each quarter, prizes are awarded for earning badges based on your points. Every quarter the points go back to zero. Check out social media for quarter prizes and user recognition.
- Bronze Level– 3,000 points = average of 3,500 steps per day
- Silver Level– 6,000 points= average of 6,700 steps per day
- Gold Level– 9,000 points = average of 10,000 steps per day. This is the recommended steps per day by the American Heart Association
- Platinum Level– 15,000 points = average of 17,000 steps per day
Create and Join a Team
You can use the app as an individual, but teams are encouraged. Teams can be comprised of work associates, neighbors, family members, community teams or organizations, etc.
The team competition is designed to be fun and for bragging rights, of course. Teams and/or top performers will be recognized quarterly and may be rewarded prizes. Teams have to be 3 or more people and can be a group of friends, family, workplace colleagues or departments; all shapes and ages. The app will display your personal steps, as well as the individuals on your team. You can view your team compared to other teams as well.
- Open the “Groups” page.
- If you are joining an existing team, click “Join a Group”, Use the search bar to find your team name and
click “request to join” when team is located. You can only be on one team.
- If you are create a new team, click “Create a Group”, input team name. Share team name with other
team members, so they can request to join. Make sure to let other potential team members about your
team by sharing app and team name via text, email, or social media!
*whoever creates the new team is automatically the team AMPlifier.
- Once your team is created, you can view your roster through the “Leader Boards” bubble (green) “group” tab.
- View how your team is doing compared to other teams by clicking on the Global tab. Global leaders are
determined by dividing total numbers of points for a team by the number of team members.
- Team names can be edited if needed. To change team name, AMPlifier, to remove members from group, select “Group Settings” bubble (yellow bubble on Groups page)
Please, do not join more than one team at a time. If you have joined a team but later decide to change teams (job change for example). Go to the Groups page, under Group Settings, you can:
- Change group name
- Edit users
- Edit amplifiers
- Leave group
Here is a step-by-step on how to join a team and create a team
What are badges?
Badges are awarded to recognize achievements within the app. There are 5 kinds of badges you can earn.
- Quarterly Achievement Badge– Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum badge earned each quarter (based on points). Users that earn badges will be recognized on social media and prize pickup can be arranged. Please email email@example.com with questions
- Milestone Badge– brag badge earned when step or point milestones are reached
- Challenges Badge– earned during monthly or quarterly challenges. May be redeemable for prizes, which we will have a social media post if there are prizes.
- Flash Badges– awarded randomly throughout the year, but you’ll never know when they are coming or how to earn them (we may give hints on social media).
- Community Partner Badge– Coming soon! These will be redeemable for prizes offered by partner organizations. Includes restaurant discounts, incentives for fitness and more.
EARN BADGES, EXPLORE OUR BEAUTIFUL PARKS AND GET YOUR STEPS IN. WIN-WIN-WIN!
Marion County Parks and Recreation have partnered with AMP to create a program to promote our local parks and encourage physical activity. Not only does this feature serve a need for citizens to be more physically active, it has created a great partnership. Use the AMP app and geolocation technology at many of Marion County’s 42 parks and recreation centers to collect badges and earn prizes
- Open the AMP app
- Go to Rangers page
- A map will open and pins will drop. Green pins are ones already collected, purple pins are those that need to still be found
- Select a pin and view more details, to see park name, zone, admission fee, terrain or difficulty to reach badge.
- Select the arrow (^) to display how far away the badge is and which direction to walk.
- Once a badge is collected, an interesting fact about the local park location, swim area, green space, or historical landmark is displayed.
- Collect all the badges to earn prizes from the park services, such as kayak rentals, free park pass, and even cabin rentals.
- Made up of 7 Zones- each zone has 2-7 parks, which each have anywhere from 3-13 badges at the park. Here are the Zones, parks in that zone and number of badges at each park.