Monday, April 25, 2016

Fitbit and Corporate Wellness Programs

Fast Company has an interesting article about how Fitbit grew its presence in the corporate wellness arena. "How Fitbit Became The Next Big Thing In Corporate Wellness"

It's really encouraging to see busy working professionals embracing the importance of health, wellness, fitness, and nutrition. At the same time, it's critical for corporations to recognize the sensitivities and privacy concerns that some employees may have, especially if they are unable to actively participate in fitness challenges. The other reality is that some employees may be "gaming" the system and using dishonest tactics to artificially increase their step counts (unfitbits).

Some examples of corporate fitness challenges to motivate their employees to move:
BP AMERICA: The Million Step Challenge
More than 23,000 employees enrolled in the com­pany’s challenge, and nearly 2,000 surpassed 2 million steps within a year. Employees who reached step goals earned points toward eligibility for a lower-deductible health plan. 
KIMBERLY-CLARK: Live Well Challenge
As an incentive for completing biometric screenings, employees were challenged to take 10,000 steps a day. Forty-seven percent of participants increased their cardiovascular fitness; 50% of them lost weight and increased strength  and flexibility.
The next major step will be to link physical activity parameters with key clinical parameters such as weight, glucose and cholesterol levels, etc. Some insurance companies are doing this to see the direct correlation between physical activity and wellness. That should help to filter those employees who are trying to game the system by cheating (see unfitbits).

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