Fitness tracker popularity is soaring, prompted in part by the Affordable Care Act, which offers a 30 percent reduction in a company’s annual insurance premium cost when employees participate in a corporate wellness plan. It’s now the status quo to see men and women in suits, blazers, and business attire adorned with wearable trackers that log steps and caloric intake. Some even track sleep patterns. All of that data is then magically and wirelessly synced with each user’s personal web portal, putting everything from in-depth educational resources to progress graphs and charts at our fingertips.
Companies already tapping into the benefits of wearable devices include GNC, Georgia Pacific, IEEE, KONE – even oil and gas leader BP, which on-boarded more than 23,000 of its employees and dependents. Not only do companies like these reap the rewards of a generous health premium discount but they also benefit from a workforce that is healthier – with reduced sick days, increased productivity, and improved team camaraderie.
Even after the tech novelty wears off, tracking devices have remained a fashion staple on suit lapels and waistbands within boardrooms and cubicles nationwide. Their popularity has been attributed to changes in corporate culture along with positive peer pressure from co-workers, family members, friends, and employers. “My pedometer keeps me going,” explained one Walkingspree user. “All my family and friends know that I need to get my 10,000 each day and often ask me how far I am along at different points in the day. I love that such a simple tool is a simple way for me to take control of my own health!”
And experts view current tracker capabilities as simply the tip of the iceberg, with wearable headphones, earbuds, glasses, and smart watches on the horizon. With each new advancement, these devices expand the potential for seamless integration of fitness into our busy lifestyles – modifying the corporate dress code.