Fitness Challenge Blog

Using QR Codes in a Wellness Challenge QR Code Challenge Activity

Connecting a virtual challenge to the physical world with hardlinking.

July 11, 2021 by Joseph

QR codes were invented in the mid-nineties and have been used effectively for many years; however, with the onset of the Covid pandemic, QR codes have gone mainstream. Suddenly QR codes are everywhere: from your favorite restaurant to your local gym. This sudden popularity means that most non-technical folks have now been introduced to QR codes and know how to use their phones to scan them. This also means that QR codes are ripe to include in your wellness challenge!


QR codes can be used to store information of virtually any type; however, the most common use is embedding a hyperlink to a website. When a smartphone is used to scan the QR code, the user is prompted to click on the exposed link and subsequently directed to the designated website. If a smartphone app installed on their phone is associated with the link in the QR code, the app itself can be instructed to perform a predetermined action. In a fitness challenge, this process will allow a QR code “hardlink” to trigger credit for a wellness activity.

So how does displaying a QR code apply to a virtual wellness challenge? Simple, a QR code can validate that a user was at a specific location when the QR code was displayed. Suppose that, as a wellness challenge admin, you want to give challenge points to anyone who attends a wellness lunch-and-learn or other event. You can do this by printing out a hardlinked QR code provided for the related activity and then allow your event attendees to scan it and receive credit. Even online, just display the QR code on the screen during a presentation for participants to scan. Other examples include scavenger hunts, walking / running destination verification, item selection such as shirt size, and many more.


An added benefit to using QR Codes is the ability to verify data entry. Instead of simply allowing challenge participants to manually enter data, QR codes can provide a degree of certainty that the user scanned the code, when and where it was presented, thereby verifying the data entry. While challenge participants will always be able to circumvent nearly any verification procedures, QR codes can make it a little tougher to falsify data.

How To

In the ChallengeRunner system, QR codes are available for any True / False or Multiple-Choice activity. In order to obtain a QR code for an activity, perform the following:

  1. Use the Create Challenge button to create the challenge and then create either a true / false or multiple-choice activity.
  2. Click the Edit Activity button next to the activity that was just created. For multiple choice activities, click the Download QR Activity Code button next to each activity in the table. For true / false activities, click the Download QR Activity Code link.
  3. Print out the QR codes and present them to challenge participants when needed.

While QR codes might not be used in every wellness challenge, they are extremely helpful when the challenge requires creating a link to the physical location and time. For more information on implementing QR codes in a challenge, please see: QR Code Based Activity in the Admin Manual.

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