How Wearable Fitness Devices Can Make Your Corporate Wellness Program Work Better

Wearable fitness devices seem to have made all the difference in encouraging many employees to participate in corporate wellness programs. These devices monitor employees’ compliance with the company’s stated fitness goals, while providing personal health data such as blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart rate and eating habits.

One example of how a company has successfully used wearable fitness devices to improve overall employee wellness is British Petroleum (BP). As part of its Wellness Program, BP launched a Million Step Challenge in 2013 in partnership with fitness devices manufacturer Fitbit. Participants were issued a Fitbit Zip in order to track the number of steps they walked and challenged to reach a million steps by December 15, 2013. Employees who successfully met the goal were awarded ‘fitness points’ which they could redeem for various rewards such as free health insurance premiums.

The initiative was supported by other core program components such as the annual health assessment questionnaire, the personal health record and one-on-one health adviser consultations with a health professional that discusses an employee’s results and tells them about other health care initiatives they may want to participate in.

According to BP, since they launched the program, 90% of those eligible to participate enrolled as of end-2014, which equates to some 23,400 employees. Of the 23,400 participants, some 14,200 had already successfully exceeded the one million step goal. As a result of this high level of compliance, the company was able to reduce the average number of health risks related to lifestyle factors by some 5.6% as measured by in-house health assessment surveys, while also causing overall health risks to fall by 8.6 percent. Thus, the company was able to reduce overall spending for health care by 3.5 percent, while achieving a return on investment of $3:$1.

These devices are also successfully aggregating employee health data to help track overall fitness levels. The data is collected in a database stored on the cloud, which allows employers to conduct medical studies as well as being able to reduce their health care budgets. Employees are also able to access the database to view relevant medical data.

While there are some employees who feel uncomfortable with having to share their personal health information, the majority of participants are willing to voluntarily provide it in exchange for incentives. Overall, however, programs using wearable fitness devices are set to revolutionize corporate wellness programs by providing both company and employees with benefits.

Mr. James from Corporate Wellness Dubai contributed in the article above.

Tim Garrett.
Tel: +971 052 699 3955.
Email: tim@dubai-personal-training.com
www.dubai-personal-training.com
Facebook page: facebook.com/Healthy4udubai

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