Benefits and Compensation

Workplace Wellness: Best Strategies for Using Wearables at Work

By Danna Korn, Sonic Boom Wellness

Activity-tracking devices are one of the most effective tools for getting employees to participate in worksite wellness programs. Getting them to continue participating, however, is an entirely different ballgame. Follow these tips to get (and keep!) employees more deeply engaged in wellbeing initiatives.

Which activity metric is generally used for employee wellness contests? Steps? Calories? Distance? When a contest is conducted based on steps taken, it automatically excludes those who do nonimpact activities, and gives an unfair advantage to shorter people (who presumably take more steps)—resulting in the same three winners every time.

By conducting contests based on activity TIME, the goal is to get everyone more active—not just to praise the most athletic people in the company. Using activity time levels the playing field for those who haven’t seen the inside of a gym in 30 years. If one competitor walks slowly for 40 minutes, they’ll earn the same credit (but not as many steps) as the sprinter who runs for 40 minutes.

And data accuracy is crucial.

Some people don’t really care whether their activity tracker is dead-on accurate … until they’re in a contest. Whether there are prizes or just bragging rights on the line, competition tends to make everyone care a LOT.

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