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FX_James_7.9

Corporate Step Challenge

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So I've been running a lot. Winning it by 100 miles

 

 

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Good work!  Are those "real" miles or "calculated from shaking one's wrist (or hips)" miles?

Do you get an award or gift?

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it's miles from a fitbit. 2,000 steps is a mile

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15 hours ago, FX_James_7.9 said:

it's miles from a fitbit. 2,000 steps is a mile

But how about YOU?  You're a runner, so surely you aren't tracking your running mileage using a Fitbit "step". You'd be using the Fitbit's GPS function.

I LOVE to walk and hike, but to compare a mile walking (2,000 steps) to a mile hiking to a mile jogging to a mile running is no way to run a railroad.

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Steve15 is catching up.  You should kneecap him.

These corporate fitness challenges should be a good idea, but I don't know if they help the people that need it.  We did one a few years back.  Those of us who stay active decided not to enter so others wouldn't avoid it expecting to lose.  I think that took inspiration away from many people.

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1 minute ago, 12string said:

Steve15 is catching up.  You should kneecap him.

These corporate fitness challenges should be a good idea, but I don't know if they help the people that need it.  We did one a few years back.  Those of us who stay active decided not to enter so others wouldn't avoid it expecting to lose.  I think that took inspiration away from many people. 

Yeah - it's nice to think we should/can motivate folks to become active, but like you write, if you make it a competition, my "regular" day is going to keep all but the most intense newly active person in the rearview mirror.  I definitely don't want to dis-incentivize those folks, but on the other hand, it is sort of sucky that the "squeaky" wheel is getting the grease and not the wheels that are already rolling along without any additional focus.

It's sort of similar to the conundrum of health insurance in general.  Folks who don't need it (historically the young) get infuriated when they are "paying" the same (or more due to family discounts) what the folks who regularly use it pay.  In health insurance, the big users (biggest drain) are the most subsidized (benefit-to-cost ratio), and in these health contests (mainly weight loss ones), the most fit (closest to optimal weight) can't fairly compete against the least fit (furthest from optimal) even using a %age goal. These distance/step programs can likewise be strangely skewed due to a "step" = a "stride" which is not really a fair comparison. A one mile walk does NOT equal a one mile run at a 5min pace (oddly, scoring by distance would be unfair, and scoring by step would show the run being less steps) .  Add in that active folks likely self-censor by doing what you mention - they skip participation and thus skip any "rewards".

 

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We get a fitness club reimbursement.  Got to the gym a couple times a month, sit on the edge of the bench reading Facebook, get reimbursed.  I tried to get them to reimburse me for cycling costs, not a penny.

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11 minutes ago, 12string said:

We get a fitness club reimbursement.  Got to the gym a couple times a month, sit on the edge of the bench reading Facebook, get reimbursed.  I tried to get them to reimburse me for cycling costs, not a penny.

Have you ever compared the commuting/parking benefit vs the biking to work benefit?  I get the choice between the QTP for metro/parking ($265/month) OR for biking to work ($20/month). Not a tough choice.

The “Qualified Bicycle Commuting Reimbursement

In addition to saving big on gas and car expenses, biking to work can earn you up to a $240 credit from your employer each year under the The Bicycle Commuter Act.

This qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement, entitles you to a $20 “benefit” from your employer for each month you use your bike as your main ride to work.

On its own, 20 bucks doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up to $240 per year. That’s a sizeable figure, and you shouldn’t ignore it. Plus, the $20 per month is considered a “fringe benefit,” so the IRS deems it as non-taxable.

That’s more tax-free money in your pocket, which is always a good thing. Add that money to the savings in gas, parking, tolls, and other vehicle expenses, and you could be saving a pretty penny.

Do YOU Qualify?

The key words to pay attention to with the qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement are “qualified” and “substantial”. In order to qualify for the biking to work tax credit, you have to substantially use your bike to get to work.

People who bike once a week, or try it for a few days won’t qualify. However, if you commute to work at least 3 days per week, you should qualify.

Keep in mind that:

You can’t claim transit benefits like parking and tolls in the same months that you claim the bicycle commuter benefit

You can’t reimburse yourself with pre-tax income. The reimbursement has to come from your employer

The money that is reimbursed to employees who bike is also a win for your employer, as they can write off the “biking to work” credits on their own taxes.

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We don't offer that.  Suburban office, free parking, no public transit, they don't see a need to reimburse commuting costs

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10 minutes ago, 12string said:

We don't offer that.  Suburban office, free parking, no public transit, they don't see a need to reimburse commuting costs 

Legally, they can't offer it if the parking is free and there is no commuting option.  We get it as we can justify it offsetting parking and/or metro costs per month.  It's really a cruel thing, since it is the "haves" getting it, and on top of that, it encourages people to drive to the city if they want to since parking, at $20/day, is basically covered 60%-75% covered by the credit. On the other hand, $20/month to help encourage cycling is not real enticing.

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On 8/27/2019 at 9:21 AM, Razors Edge said:

But how about YOU?  You're a runner, so surely you aren't tracking your running mileage using a Fitbit "step". You'd be using the Fitbit's GPS function.

I LOVE to walk and hike, but to compare a mile walking (2,000 steps) to a mile hiking to a mile jogging to a mile running is no way to run a railroad.

I use a Garmin watch linked to strava for training. the fitbit also tracks all the steps you just walking everyday life.

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