Wearable tech for a healthier workforce?

Wearable tech for work

Wearable tech has been around since the 80s, for those of you that remember it the calculator watch was the first technology you could wear on your wrist.

Today we expect much more from wearable technology than being able to do a few sums!

If the eyes are the windows to your soul, the array of wearable tech devices suggests the wrist may prove to be the door to your health.

~ FT.com

The functionality we require has now extended to wearables and with dropping costs, employers are now introducing them into the workplace as part of company wellness programs.

Wellness programs are used in business to help improve and promote health and fitness of employees, in turn potentially raising the productivity of those involved.

Incentives include gym memberships, programs to help stop smoking and now wearable tech is being introduced to add to the benefits.

Employers are looking at wearable tech to provide them with more information about the health and well being of their employees.

Information that can monitored include:

  • Activity levels
  • Sleep quality
  • Distance travelled
  • Steps taken
  • Calorie intake
  • Workout stats

Technology equips employees with the digital tools they need to take control of their own wellbeing – and employers should be looking at how they can employ this medium to support their employees in leading healthier lives. According to Willis Towers Watson’s Global Attitudes to Benefits Study 2018 (GBAS), 35% of employees use technology to monitor their activity, such as sleep and fitness; 26% monitor their diet; 22% use social media and online forums on health issues; 17% monitor a health condition; and 16% use online tools for medical consultations, such as telemedicine, virtual GP.

~ Willis Towers Watson

Information can be provided anonymously or where staff allow it, their details can be used as part of a company challenge, where individuals compete on activity levels for instance.

But is it right to encourage employees to compete over their fitness and health? On the positive side engaged employees are healthier and more productive, but are there moral implications here?

Do employers have the right to impose this on their employees and how will the information be used, for example if healthy lifestyle targets are not met could it lead to disciplinary proceedings?

It would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences of wearable tech in the work place.

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