For the purpose of counting minutes for getfit, “exercise” is defined as “physical activity done at a level that increases your heart rate and/or challenges your muscles.”
Allowable physical activity should include one or more components of physical fitness: aerobic/cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and/or flexibility exercises. For example, someone just starting an exercise program could probably count 15 minutes of brisk walking as exercise. For someone in better shape, it might be a 15-minute run or the equivalent.
Count only minutes actually spent exercising. For example, if you go to the gym to work out on a rowing machine, count only the time you spend rowing, along with warm-up and cool-down activities. Don’t count time spent waiting for a machine, showering, or changing.
For the purpose of tracking your exercise minutes, the week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. Make sure to enter your totals online at getfit.mit.edu by Monday at 11:59 p.m., EST. (And remind your teammates!) To be eligible for weekly team and individual prize drawings, you must meet this deadline for entering the previous week’s total minutes, even if it is a holiday or snow day.
You may enter minutes for the past week, even if you're adding these minutes past the Monday deadline. These late-entered minutes will be recorded on the getfit website, but will not count toward contests or prizes.
The getfit database will calculate the average number of minutes exercised by each team, and team and individual rankings will be posted on the site’s leaderboard.
Yes, you may download a record of all your recorded minutes, along with any recorded intensity and exercise data, as an Excel (XLS) or comma-separated values (CSV) file. Sign in, go to the “My Progress” section of your dashboard, and click on “See Daily History.” You'll find the download options at the bottom of the page.
To edit your minutes entry, including any activity or intensity you may have entered, you'll need to delete it first, then re-enter it. To delete it, click the little gray "x" to the right of the minutes/activity/intensity listing on your dashboard. Then re-enter your data. To access and edit your fitness data for a prior date during the current week (or past week if you’re editing minutes on a Monday), click on the date for which you want to change your entry, i.e., “W 02/01,” and delete/re-enter your data.
In past years, some getfit participants were not able to access the site due to MIT certificate/Touchstone restrictions. Accordingly, we allowed co-captains to enter minutes for those teammates. The getfit website no longer uses Touchstone/certificates to log in, so we require all members to enter their own minutes. In rare instances, and on a case-by-case basis, administrators will try to make accommodations for those who have no access to a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
We recommend that you use the most recent versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.
The minimum individual exercise goal increases over the course of the challenge, beginning with 150 exercise minutes during Week 1 and ending with 300 minutes in Week 12. Participants are not required to meet these exercise goals, but eligibility for certain team and individual prizes, including the Grand Prize, will be based on reaching the weekly minimum goals.
A team will be credited with meeting its weekly minimum exercise goal if the average for its members is at or above the target number of minutes. This means that some team members could fall short of the goal by some number of minutes as long as other members exceed the goal by at least the same number of minutes.
Weekly minimum exercise-minute goals for the 2021 getfit challenge:
- Week 1 (2/1–2/7) 150 minutes
- Week 2 (2/8–2/14) 165 minutes
- Week 3 (2/15–2/21) 180 minutes
- Week 4 (2/22–2/28) 195 minutes
- Week 5 (3/1–3/7) 210 minutes
- Week 6 (3/8–3/14) 225 minutes
- Week 7 (3/15–3/21) 225 minutes
- Week 8 (3/22–3/28) 245 minutes
- Week 9 (3/29–4/4) 260 minutes
- Week 10 (4/5–4/11) 280 minutes
- Week 11 (4/12–4/18) 300 minutes
- Week 12 (4/19–4/25) 300 minutes
You can view your challenge progress—as well as your personal goal progress if you enabled that option in your profile—on your dashboard.
Weekly prize drawings will be held to award prizes to ten individuals and one team. All individual participants meeting the exercise goal for a given week during the challenge will be eligible for that week’s prize drawing for individuals. All teams whose per-member average meets the exercise goal for a given week during the challenge will be eligible for that week's prize drawing for teams.
Each team with an exercise average that meets the weekly minimum goal of exercise minutes for at least 10 of the 12 weeks during the challenge will be eligible for the Grand Prize, which will be determined by random drawing among all eligible teams.
At the end of the challenge, two special prizes will be awarded by random drawing among all participants who have recorded minutes during every week of the challenge and have demonstrated a steady and consistent increase in exercise minutes from week to week. A participant need not have met weekly exercise goals to be eligible for this drawing.
Participants in getfit can record exercise intensity along with exercise minutes and may set their own goals for maintaining or increasing intensity over the course of the challenge. However, intensity does not count toward prize eligibility.
We considered other ways to incorporate exercise intensity, but no method seemed practical to use in a program with several thousand participants, many of whom would be beginning exercisers. And with such a large number of participants, we needed an easily quantifiable measurement criterion that didn’t require subjective judgments beyond the capabilities of our automated tracking system.
We decided “minutes exercised” would work well with our online database, and by using our definition of “exercise” (See “What counts as exercise?” above), it would allow beginning exercisers to participate on a level playing field with marathon runners and other elite athletes.
The getfit program is all about individuals challenging themselves to become more fit. For that reason, exercise intensity should matter to each individual participant, and each participant should try to exercise at a level of intensity appropriate to his or her physical capabilities. For many people, this is something that will change during the course of the program.
The calculation we use for team standings, specifically the "average minutes per person," is as follows.
[Total minutes ÷ (number of weeks + days so far of current week)] ÷ total number of members = Team average minutes per person
For example, if it's Week 2 and a Thursday (4th day of the week, i.e. 4/7), and a seven-member team has 3071 total minutes, then:
3071 ÷ (1 + 4/7 or .57 = 1.57) = 1956 ÷ 7 = 279 average minutes/week
Formation of teams takes place during registration in January. The last day to create a team or change its name is January 24, 2021. Teammates have through January 31, 2021 to accept their invitations.
Before you can create your team online, you need to do some off-line organizing. Get a group of 5–8 people together, agree on who the two co-captains will be, and come up with a team name. (Note that co-captains must have an email address ending in mit.edu, draper.com, broadinstitute.org, or technologyreview.com.)
If you need to find additional teammates, try the Find a Team or Teammate forum.
When you have a complete team, have one of the co-captains go online to create the team during the getfit registration period in January. Invitations to join the team will be sent to the other co-captain and all other team members.
Co-captains create getfit teams and invite teammates. To do this, co-captains must have an MIT-affiliated email address (ending in mit.edu, draper.com, broadinstitute.org, technologyreview.com). Should their team win a team prize, co-captains will receive an email notification and must arrange retrieval of the prize(s) to distribute to the rest of the team. While that is all that is required of team captains, we strongly encourage co-captains to be the chief cheerleaders of their team, ensure everyone gets their minutes logged, and motivate teammates. It's also helpful for co-captains to take the lead on designating one team member to pick up the team's T-shirts at the midpoint event.
To join a team, you must have received an emailed invitation from a team co-captain via the getfit website. To find a team, ask around to see if someone you know is on a team that has space for another member, create your own team, or use the Find a Team or Teammate forum.
Your join-a-team email invitation will come with a link that allows you to 1) create a getfit account (if you don't already have one), 2) view the team roster for the team to which you’ve been invited, 3) accept or decline the invitation. If you are invited to join more than one team, you may accept or decline invitations on the website.
You must accept an invitation before February 1, 2021 to be included on a team.
The Find a Team or Teammate forum is active only during the getfit registration period in January.
You may use the forum to look for potential teammates for your existing team or existing teams that need teammates, post a message that you’re looking for a team to join, or post a message that you need teammates for your existing team.
To remain eligible for weekly prizes, the Grand Prize and Onward and Upward awards, it is very important to submit minutes by each Monday before midnight.
Note: You may enter minutes for the past week, even if you're adding these minutes past the Monday deadline. These late-entered minutes will be recorded on the getfit website, but will not count toward contests or prizes.
No, your team’s standing is based on the average of all members’ exercise totals. A team’s average can meet the exercise goal each week even if some members never meet the goal. That’s because the exercise-minute totals of team members who exceed a given week’s goal can offset lower totals posted by team members who do not meet the goal.
You can’t. But you don’t have to!
getfit is a challenge, not a competition, and even though many teams rack up far more exercise time than the minutes required for each week’s goal, they have no better chance of winning weekly prizes or the Grand Prize than teams who just barely reach each weekly goal. That is because your team’s standing is based on the average of all members’ exercise totals. The exercise-minute totals of team members who exceed a given week’s goal can be used to offset lower totals posted by team members who do not meet the goal. To remain eligible for the Grand Prize, your team’s average must meet the exercise goal for at least 10 of the 12 weeks of the challenge.
No changes may be made to team rosters after January 24, 2021. Exceptions to this rule will be made on a case-by-case basis, and only in the rare situation that a team member has no choice but to drop out before the end of the challenge (serious illness, leaving MIT, or similar circumstances).
In such situations, please get in touch with the getfit organizers.
During the challenge, you can view your team’s progress on your dashboard or by clicking “My Team” in the menu.
To view the progress of other teams and individuals, go to the Leaderboard (accessible from the menu).
Please see How to Motivate Your Teammates for some hints!