Hess Associates

FitBit and the Workplace

In 2013, ABI Research (New York) predicted that “over the next five years, more than 13 million wearable devices with embedded wireless connectivity will be integrated into wellness plans offered by businesses”. (https://www.abiresearch.com/press/corporate-wellness-is-a-13-million-unit-wearable-w/.

Why would this be so? Companies are looking at wearable fitness devices such as Fitbit, to improve the health of their employees in an era of escalating healthcare costs. Enterprise wellness programs are growing and becoming widespread. Some of the biggest adapters (http://fortune.com/2014/04/15/in-corporate-wellness-programs-wearables-take-a-step-forward/) include BP, Autodesk, Buffer, Nike, Epson, Google, and many others.

Whereas an individual buyer may tire of the tracking device, and there are statistics pointing to this fact, company employees are more likely to buy into the competitive spirit idea, or even unspoken pressure from company managers or company culture, to track and keep up with others.

Health management companies have also moved in, running corporate challenges and the like. Fitbit type devices can actually be seamlessly integrated into their fitness wellness platforms.
Workplace benefits companies are growing and have their own annual conferences (http://eba.benefitnews.com/conferences/summit/) with over one hundred such companies in attendance. They all benefit when people remain healthy. A click away, the Fitbit website (www.fitbit.com) will tell you that their users “users take 43% more steps”, presumably, than other people. This is incredible actually. A pedometer could do this too – but it is not a fun “high-tech” device, tracking steps, distance, calories, sleep, synching stats to computers and smartphones, setting goals. Some higher end devices even record heart rate, heart zone, floors climbed, charting, and more. Nor could it synch to a wellness program.

Do you have one yet?

Some of the other devices include the Jawbone UP3 and the Nike+ FuelBand SE (http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Comparison-Nike-FuelBand-FitBit-Jawbone-Up-More-21429516#photo-21429516) – suggest comparing before you buy.


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