We understand that each client and group is different. Administrators do not always want to allow for participants to manually enter their activity data for various reasons. With this in mind, we give admins the option to allow this feature for their users. This means that manual entry can be turned off at the account level, meaning none of your users will have access to this feature. If disabled, participants will not be able to select manual entry as their device through the sign up process.
How does manual entry work?
If this feature is enabled, or turned on, participants are given the ability to manually enter 5 days of data (the current day, and the previous 4). It's important to keep in mind that participants will need to log into the application, mobile or web, frequently to enter their data. As a best practice tip it's great to get into the habit of logging in once a day to enter the previous day's data. Reference this article to see how users can enter their data manually.
Why should I allow manual entry?
Enabling manual entry as a device option allows more users to participate in your challenges. Most people are familiar with the top name brand fitness trackers: Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, etc. However, there are many more options on the market offered at lower price points.
These cost-efficient devices may track the same metrics (steps, distance, active minutes), but they do not have an API for us to integrate with, meaning we are unable to read the data automatically. Others may choose a low-tech device, such as a pedometer. Manual entry gives these users the opportunity to participate in step challenges by entering the data they've recorded on these low-tech devices.
Wellness should be for everyone. Turning on manual entry ensures everyone is included in the opportunity to improve their health, even when they are using a low cost device.
Are there any cons for allowing manual entry?
Sometimes clients opt to disable manual entry for users due to concerns over cheating. It's possible for a user on manual entry to enter false data.
That being said, it's possible for any user to be dishonest in a challenge, even if they are using a device we integrate with. A user can put their device on a dog, a fan, a friend going on a run, etc. Many device apps also allow users to manually enter steps directly. We have no way to prevent these scenarios.
Accusations of cheating are never pleasant, and can take away from the fun community aspect of MoveSpring challenges. However, we find a lot of cheating can be discouraged by improving the prize and reward strategy to avoid only rewarding the top stepper.