Members of the American workforce can spend anywhere from eight to twelve hours per day at their workplace. Unhealthy lifestyle factors such as inactivity, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and chronic stress impact the overall health and wellbeing of employees. These factors lead to the development of chronic conditions such as Obesity, Hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, and Heart Disease. The health status of employees play a significant role in the productivity and overall success of your organization. With rapidly escalating health care costs, it is not surprising that organizations are implementing employee wellness programs to dramatically shift the health of their workers.
As part of employee wellness programs, there are a wide variety of technologies available to employers. Many of these devices are currently being used on a personal level by the consumer but are becoming an emerging trend in corporate wellness programs.
Wearables: Wearable devices provide a non-invasive way for an employee to track multiple aspects of their health including steps, calories, blood pressure and heart rate. These devices can also bolster friendly competition among co-workers and can be used in workplace wellness challenges. In fact, at Alyfe, we provide option to integrate several wearable devices such as FitBit, Jawbone, BodyMedia etc. into our wellbeing portal and many of our clients love it!
Mobile Applications: In the age of smartphones, there are multiple applications available to consumers to support a healthy lifestyle. These applications track a wide variety of health information and lifestyle behaviors including blood pressure, weight, heart rate, body measurements, sleep, reproductive health, emotional health, mood, medication adherence, nutrition, water, and exercise. Many of our customers use the HealthyNow mobile app which is capable of syncing information with our wellbeing portal, making it truly comprehensive. Other apps that are popular include the Health app that comes with the iPhone, C25K (Couch to 5K), charityMiles, CycleMeter, etc.
Additional emerging technologies can include fall detectors to improve employee safety, environmental sensors that can be used to monitor air quality, carbon dioxide levels, humidity and motion patterns. Online and mobile gaming is another technology gaining popularity in employee wellness programs.
Do you use any wearables or applications to complement your wellness program? How have they improved the engagement in the programs? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.