Rivalry in the workplace is nothing new, so the idea of pitting employees against each other as part of corporate wellness programs was bound to find its way into HR strategies.

The "gamification" movement, according to those on the front lines, is spreading fast as a way to help curb employers' rising health care costs.

Helping fuel the trend: an explosion of online platforms that help participants track their performance and see how they stack up against co-workers.

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