Remember the time when the Health Promotion Board ordered way too many trackers and during auditing, they were under scrutiny for wasting public funds on over 341,000 unused trackers?
Well, looks like the HPB learned their lesson and reduced their orders but they have a new problem—there are now not enough trackers.
HPB Runs Out of Free Fitness Trackers After More People Signed Up for the National Steps Challenge
In season six of the National Steps Challenge, over 580,000 people signed up on 9 Dec. This is a huge following as compared to their first season where only 156,000 people signed up.
However, it is a decline as compared to the 900,000 sign-ups in season five of the challenge last year.
These participants will be required to hit their fitness goals between 1 Oct 2021 and 31 March 2022 to win prizes such as Fairprice eVouchers and more.
Excess Devices from Previous the Season Issued to Season Six Participants
Since there were so many trackers leftover from last season, those trackers were issued to the participants of season six or used to replace the faulty trackers brought in by previous seasons’ users.
The spare devices were also used to support community partners and other governmental agencies in their health and wellness initiatives.
Lack of Devices
This season’s devices were prepared based on projected demand before the launch of this campaign.
However, it seems like the “get fit fairy” sprinkled its fairy dust across Singapore, causing more people to join the challenge. This lead to insufficient in-country stock.
Additionally, the sudden surge of participants requesting the tracker was due to the new mechanism in this year’s challenge.
Unlike the previous years, this season’s challenge includes the new sleep-tracking challenge. This challenge helps track your sleep and it only accepts sleep data from HPB-issued devices.
It does not accept sleep data from alternative brands recommended by the board like Garmin, Apple or Fitbit.
This lead to a surge of complaints by netizens, as some say it was a hassle to wait a month for the collection of the device while others just want to continue using their current alternative devices.
As if things could not get any more frustrating for the participants, during their booking for the devices, there were technical difficulties as well. HPB’s appointment booking system was also down for three days.
More HPB Fitness Tracker
Since there’s a shortage, will HPB be getting more since they were under scrutiny last year? Yes, but to prevent history from repeating itself, HPB has decided to conduct audits and physical stock checks twice a year instead of annually.
Additional purchases of devices will only be done when excess bookings are received.
According to their Facebook post on 15 Dec, they are “working hard to increase the supply of HPB fitness trackers”. More appointment slots will be added to the app as well.
They will update their Facebook page and the National Steps Challenge website as soon as more fitness trackers are available for collection.
Those who have already booked an appointment for collection will be able to do so as scheduled.
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