Curious about whether or not a fitness device is good tool to help you reach your fitness goals?
The jury is still out on the long term effectiveness of wearable fitness devices across a broad population. We all know someone who had a device, used it religiously for a while and then lost interest. However, we are starting to see statistics stating that a majority of employees continue to use their fitness devices six months after their employers launch their wellness program.
According to our head of customer engagement, she personally is happy to report that she is one of those people who has worn a Fitbit for more than four years.
Her motivation to start wearing a device was curiousity, "I was curious about how much activity I was actually getting. As it turns out, the answer was ‘not much’. I was only averaging about 2,000 steps during the work day. I learned that I was hardly moving at all during the daytime hours and I was getting most of my activity in at the gym in the evening. If we believe that sitting is the new smoking, I was well on my way to poor future health".
She found that wearing her Fitbit helped her figure out how to get at least 10,000 steps per day, it also helped her change her routine so that she was getting more activity throughout the day. "I try to get 500-600 steps per hour while I am working during the day. That means changing things up – I now look for opportunities to move! Sometimes, I walk in place while participating in a conference call. My one-on- one meetings with my team have become walking meetings. I take the long route to the bathroom and I park my car in the far corner of the lot. I also take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible". She also found ways to build in opportunities for what she calls "bonus steps” - such as offering to take the trip to get things other people need. Another key to her long-term use of her device - her close circle of friends and family members who wear devices as well. This has afforded many great opportunities for friendly competitions to see who accumulates the most steps.
Overall, she has found that her Fitbit and daily activities are now habits for her, "I feel great and will continue to track my activity so that I contribute to my best possible future health. I do believe that we are seeing the beginning of a broader trend that will likely continue to have an impact on improving overall health. Whether is it a wearable device or an app used with a smartphone, individuals are waking up to the need to move".
Interested in how wearables can be an effective tool to help engage employees in healthier habits? Download our tip sheet to find out how wearables are being used in wellness programs and a quick guide to some of the most popular devices and apps.