How to Increase Employee Wellness Program Participation with Wearables
Chances are good that you are sporting a wearable fitness tracker on your wrist and if you aren’t, you know someone who is. Wearables have broken down mental barriers toward getting in shape, helping people shift towards a healthier lifestyle. In 2016 Fitbit sold 22.3 million connected health and fitness devices.* That’s a lot of heart rates, steps, and ZZZs being tracked. Are you using this technology to increase participation in employee wellness programs? No? Well, here is some advice on incorporating these devices in your corporate health strategy.
Finding a Provider of Wearable Fitness Trackers for Your Employee Wellness Program
Start by finding a provider who understands the broad ecosystem of devices and manufacturers. Your provider should clearly explain what devices are available, what is tracked, and how the sensor data will lead to more informed corporate health decisions. A provider should work with you to find devices that both fit your budget and appeal to employees to ensure long term participation.
What to Track to Get Employees Excited about Your Employee Wellness Program
Digital health wearables track a wide variety of measurable activities and return a significant flood of sometimes disparate data. By finding and combining several consistent data points, a well-integrated wellness program can track, measure, and use these key metrics across a wide ecosystem of device brands.
- Activity tracking: Activity tracking, such as step counting, is available on all connected wearables. It is a broad indicator of overall company and employee health, and can be used as a springboard into tracking a larger health push. Even the most reluctant participant can be eased into moving using incrementally increasing goals that are appropriately rewarded.
- Sleep tracking: A well-rested employee is an impactful employee. Fewer mistakes are made, employees are less prone to illness, and this can all add up to higher productivity. Sleep tracking, if incorporated into your wellness program, is a key element for providing a positive goal-based feedback loop to your employees. One thing to keep in mind: many, but not all, devices are optimized to track sleep.
- Heart rate: Resting and active heart rates are a key measurable found on mid-range wearables. Improvements in this metric area can quickly highlight how moving more, eating better, and resting well all contribute to improved cardiovascular health.
There are wearables surrounding you right now, counting steps and tracking heart rates ... are you ready to incorporate them into your wellness program and make them part of your employees’ overall experience with your organization?
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About the Author
Chris Haugner is the founder of Fitmatic and member of the Perks Worldwide Alliance Network. Throughout his career, he has worked with Global 500 Brands to drive Employee Engagement by pioneering innovative use of technology. Combined with his personal passion for health and fitness, Chris has been able to merge his background with the Employee Wellness sector to impact organizations for long-lasting benefits.More Content by Chris Haugner