Refer to our frequently asked questions to understand how to get, use and troubleshoot Hotseat. If you can’t find what you need, use our contact form to shoot us a note.

About Hotseat +

What is Hotseat?

Hotseat is a mobile- and web-based workplace wellness tool designed to decrease sedentary behavior. A growing body of evidence links the extensive amount of time we spend sitting (9 hours, on average) to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, and more. Hotseat uses employees’ smartphones and a combination of nudges, social accountability and game play to gets employees up and out of their seats regularly throughout the day.

How does Hotseat work?

Employees of companies offering Hotseat receive an invitation to download the app. They complete a quick onboarding process that involves selecting physical activities they feel comfortable and capable of doing, setting the number of breaks they want to take each day, and when they want to and don’t want to take those breaks. Hotseat uses this information to create a daily schedule of two-minute activity breaks. When it’s time for a break, Hotseat sends a gentle but persistent reminder to get up and go. Employees with a competitive spirit are encouraged to invite co-workers to compete in theme-based challenges.

How do I get Hotseat?

If you’re an employer or other organization interested in getting employees or members out of the hotseat, get in touch with us by completing our contact form. Currently, Hotseat is best suited for organizations with 500 employees or more and isn’t available for consumer purchase. We do have a growing mailing list of individuals interested in both if you want to join it.

Can people outside my company use Hotseat?

Yes. Every employee can invite one guest outside of work for free. Hotseat can support up to four more guests per employee, as desired by each company.

Downloading and Creating an Account +

Does Hotseat work on all devices?

Not today. Hotseat is available for Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (not fully optimized). Refer to our App Store listing to review details.

How do I download Hotseat?

You can download Hotseat from the App Store by going directly to the App store, searching for Hotseat, and installing it. As a first-time user, you’ll need the unique PIN you received in Hotseat’s invite email. This PIN allows you to create your Hotseat account after you’ve installed Hotseat on your device.

Can I use Hotseat on more than one device?

No. The device you install Hotseat on is the only one you’ll use, so install it on the device you have with you most often and, if you want Hotseat to sync with your calendar, the one that contains your work calendar.

What if I’ve lost my PIN?

If you lose your PIN, Hotseat can help you retrieve it. After you download the app, you’ll be invited to create an account. As part of this process you’ll be asked for your email address and your PIN. Please enter your email and click “I lost mine” beneath the text field for your PIN. Then look in your email for your resent PIN.

Does using Hotseat cost me anything?

There is no cost to download and use the app, and you can invite one guest for free. Please refer to our Terms of Use policy for performance and charges from your provider related to your phone use while using Hotseat.

Why do I see ugly code after I click the “Free Download” button in my invite?

If you were viewing your Hotseat invite from inside the Gmail iPhone app, you may see only code after you click “Free Download.” This has to do with the iTunes site and isn’t a problem with your invite. Keep your invite so you have the PIN you’ll need to create your account, but try going directly to the App Store instead. Search for Hotseat, then install it.

Is Hotseat (Employer Version) the version I want?

Yes, it is. In the future we plan on having a consumer version. We wanted to distinguish between the two.

Using Hotseat +

How do I get started?

Once you’ve downloaded the app and created your account, Hotseat will take you through a basic setup process, including creating your profile, selecting your activities and determining how many breaks you want to take each day.

I can’t upload an existing photo as my profile photo. Why?

If you’re getting an error message when you try to upload an existing photo, check your phone’s settings and be sure Hotseat’s photo setting is turned to “On.”

How many breaks should I take each day?

“Rules” vary here, as research doesn’t yet exist on what’s best. Some researchers in this area suggest a break every hour. Others recommend a break every 20 or 30 minutes. We suggest you set a goal of taking 5 or 6 breaks each day and go from there.

What if I have no gaps in my schedule?

Hotseat can work with your calendar, scheduling your 2-minute breaks during gaps in your schedule. But if you have no gaps, you can choose to have Hotseat surprise you. When you set up your break schedule, select the “Surprise me” option. Hotseat will observe your other break parameters (times and days on or off) and set a daily rotating schedule of activities to help you achieve your daily break goal. You can also use the “Add a Break” feature to take and log a two-minute break any time you’re free.

Can people outside my company use Hotseat?

Yes! Every employee is allowed at least one guest, but Hotseat can support up to five guests per employee. It’s up to each employer to decide how many guests they want to allow. If you’re using Hotseat and would like your company to allow more guests, touch base with your Human Resources representative.

How frequently does Hotseat sync my calendar?

Hotseat syncs your calendar once per day only when your app is opened, except in these situations:

  • You join a challenge
  • You get knocked out of a challenge
  • You change your target number of daily breaks
  • You change the time span when it’s alright to schedule breaks
  • You change your “liked” activities

Hotseat will resync and rebuild your break calendar after each of these events.

What if my calendar changes and I can’t complete a break?

If your calendar changes midday, you can “snooze” to delay an activity for up to 15 minutes. You can also “skip” an activity and then add a break to replace it. To add a break, go to your “My Day” screen and use the “Add Break” button to add a break right now or at some other time. If you’re competing in a challenge and miss a turn, you will be eliminated unless you’ve earned the right to pass a break. In that case, you can pass the break that conflicts with your schedule to an opponent and stay in the running.

Why do I have more breaks on my schedule than I requested?

If you manually added any breaks during the day, you’ll see more breaks on your schedule.

Do manually added breaks count toward my daily break goal?

Typically, manually added breaks don’t count toward your daily break goal. So, if you have a daily goal of seven breaks and one day you manually add two more, you’ll see a total of nine breaks on that day’s schedule.

The only time this varies is when you change your daily break goal. Let’s take the same example: You have seven break goals and have added and completed two manual breaks. By midday you’ve completed two regularly scheduled breaks, for a total of four breaks so far this day. At the same time, you decide to downgrade your daily break goal from seven to four. (Why you’d do this, we don’t know…and definitely don’t recommend. Wink.)

When you reset your daily break goal, your manually added breaks are counted toward that revised goal. So in this example, you’d have already met your daily break goal.

The Hotseat Game +

How does the Hotseat game work?

The Hotseat game is an elimination game that involves theme-based challenges like “Jane Fonda returns,” “Get a grip,” and “The exhibitionist.” When you’re ready to compete against others, kick off a challenge or accept a challenge request. The person who initiates the game picks from the available challenges, sets the start date and invites the opponents. As a challenge participant, you can invite more opponents, up until the challenge kicks off.

On the day play begins, all your scheduled breaks are challenge breaks. To stay in the game, you must complete each and every break. You’ll be eliminated as soon as you don’t complete a break, or you miss one (keep that device by you!). The winner is the last person standing and takes his or her righteous seat on the Hotseat leaderboard.

What does it mean to “pass the hotseat”?

Passing the hotseat is a strategy for eliminating opponents. When you pass the hotseat, you toss your current challenge break to an opponent. That opponent must complete the break to stay in the game.

To earn the right to pass, you must fill your pass meter by completing 16 minutes of activity (through any type of play). Check your profile or the flame in the upper right-hand corner of the app to see if you’ve unlocked the right to pass. A gray flame means your right to pass is locked. A red flame means you’ve unlocked it.

Once you’ve passed an activity, your pass meter automatically resets to 0. Completing another 16 minutes of activity refills it and once again unlocks your right to pass.

How do I start or join a challenge?

Look through the list of challenges and select the challenge you’d like to kick off, then set the start date and challenge your opponents. Hotseat will issue your challenge invites, update you on who’s accepted, and kick off the competition.

To join a challenge, simply accept a request.

Once you’ve started or joined a challenge, you can’t join another until your current challenge ends or you’re eliminated.

How do I know if a player has been eliminated?

You can review all details about your current challenge on your profile.

How do I know if I’ve been eliminated?

You’re automatically eliminated when you don’t complete a scheduled challenge activity.

Why can I only play one game at a time?

Because all play and no work makes your company an unhappy Hotseat customer.

Privacy +

What does Hotseat do with my data?

Hotseat stores your name, email and your calendar availability if you choose to have Hotseat scan your calendar. We don’t look at the subject matter, attendees or location of your meetings, but only the start and end times so we can book breaks in between. Hotseat also stores the number of breaks you take per day, the activities you complete, and whether you participate in challenges. We aggregate this information so Hotseat and the organization providing Hotseat to you understand who uses Hotseat and how. For more detail, refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy policies.

Help, Love and Hate Mail +

How do I get help if I’m having trouble using Hotseat?

First read through these FAQs to be sure the answer to your question isn’t here. If it isn’t, please use our contact form.

Where do I send feedback on Hotseat?

We hope you’ll rate us in the App store. We’d also love to hear what you love and what you’d like to see improved or added. Please use our contact form to let us know.

Contact Us