Far Out Friday: Is it a bike? Is it a blender?

Far Out Friday: Is it a bike? Is it a blender? | Insurance Business

Far Out Friday: Is it a bike? Is it a blender?
What do you get when you attach a blender to an exercise bike?

Well, the marketing department of a Kiwi health insurance provider is hoping its potential clients will place greater value on their health and subsequently – health insurance.

The hybrid machines, which were bought from a specialist business in the US, combine a stationary bike with a high-quality blender attached to the front. Pedal power is used to drive the blender.

Southern Cross Health Society head of people and talent, Vicki Caisley, says the bikes are a great addition to its business engagement toolkit in the way they tackled the subject of workplace fitness and healthy food in one.

“It’s a no-brainer,” says Caisley. “Once people see them they’re immediately keen to have a go. It creates a massive buzz when we take them into a workplace and people willingly queue to take a turn at exercising.

“In terms of engagement, these bikes are a phenomenal success.”

With four bikes available, Southern Cross account managers are able to take them to client businesses anywhere in New Zealand for wellness days or similar events.

Along with the bikes, account managers also take the raw materials for the smoothies.

Bananas, berries and tropical fruit juice make for a winning mix, says Caisley.

The blender bikes have only one gear and it takes about 30 seconds of medium-hard pedalling to blend a smoothie.

But different ingredients can make for a harder ride.

Smaller ice cubes are easier to crush than larger ones, and frozen fruit is easier to crush compared to fresh fruit with ice.

Clients who have embraced the bikes so far include the University of Canterbury and Bridgestone.

Southern Cross spokesperson Kate Palmer told Insurance Business there had been great feedback from HR.

“The feedback is that the bikes are a fun and innovative way to engage with staff and show that the organisation values their health.”

Palmer said the staff member that suggested the idea to senior management was a marketing employee who had now ventured off on her OE.

“But we’re hoping she comes back with more ideas!” she added.