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What Your Employees Wear Can Be Good for You

Looking for tools that drive employee engagement, improve health results, and help control rising costs? Encourage them to use fitness apps and wearables. Depending on the type of device and the work involved, companies can benefit when employees adopt wearable technology.

Health apps and wearables are a key part of many workplace wellness programs. They let employees collect a large amount of data about their daily activities — and this data can give you an insight into how to further improve their well-being.

Some health apps allow employers to encourage their employees’ healthy habits. These apps support:

  • Health challenges
  • Vital tracking
  • Nutritional intake monitoring

Some can also be customized for employers and combined with other data sources related to fitness and nutrition.

These devices often make it easier for employees to manage their health. And the more they are aware of their health, the more likely they are to make better choices.

As a result, they miss less work and are more productive. And this can lead to lower health care costs.

 

Mobile health

77% of Americans now own smartphones, and 58% of smartphone users have downloaded a fitness or health app.

Many employees already use smartphone apps to track diet and exercise, daily calorie intake and to count steps. Other apps allow them to evaluate symptoms, record their sleep habits, organize and track health information, and share this data with their doctors.

 

Wearable devices

1 in 5 Americans own a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or similar device, and 1 in 10 wear them daily.

Wearables collect health data that can be synced to laptops or smartphones and accessed in real time. Along with collecting diet and fitness results, some patients wear medical devices that track their heart rhythms or blood sugar levels and send the results to their doctors.

Wearables can record:

  • Health stats when walking
  • Calorie intake for diet plans
  • Sleep habits
  • Stress levels and/or panic attacks

Wearables are often affordable, easy to use, and have the potential to help your employees attain long-lasting behavioral changes.

 

Data protection and privacy

Some employees will be open to wearables provided by their employer. But there may be some who view data collection as an invasion of privacy. If you want to offer wearables to your employees, be sure you have policies in place that make it clear how this data is collected and used. It’s essential your employees know that their health information will not be used against them in an unfair or biased manner.