09 Mar / 2016 Wellness Trends: Fitness Wearables
CIO.com’s recent report, 9 Ways Corporate Fitness and Wellness Programs Will Change in 2016, covered several topics, including the use of new technology in wellness programs, gamification and social networking, real-time fitness and others.
In analyzing these trends, a clear throughline emerges: fitness wearables are going to continue to be big in wellness.
It’s not hard to see why: fitness wearables offer a reasonably inexpensive, secure way to offer analytic data on employee activity (though some might dispute), there is evidence to show that they aid in wellness initiatives and engagement, and with the global wearables market expected to reach $19 billion by 2018, they are on their way to near-ubiquity.
WHAT’S THE CATCH?
Ok, so wearable devices are in. They provide good metrics at a reasonable cost, help employee engagement, and are poised to be everywhere. What’s the catch?
Data shows that users’ enthusiasm for fitness wearables has a shelf life. As reported by Business Insider, about a third of trackers get abandoned after just six months.
AVOIDING THE DROPOFF
Here’s where the nitty-gritty lies, and where you’ll have to forgive us for diving into a little shameless self-promotion. Wearables are a great way to provide the “what” and “how” to employees (be more active, get more steps), but they fall short on “why.”
The “why” falls on the behavioral spectrum, which is where finding the right programs that make use of wearables becomes important, adding important context (personal health goals, team-based challenge etc.) to the desired behavior (get more steps).
Articles like this one, which outlines 14 ways to improve corporate wellness programs with wearables, are becoming more and more common. Our strategy, on the other hand, is to create games that use fitness wearables to engage employee populations. Interested in learning more? Check out the link below.
Focus on regular movement, not just steps. A mounting body of research shows that even if you get regular exercise, being sedentary for long stretches throughout your day puts you at higher risk for death and disease.
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