Workforce wearables are not wearing thin

Have a Fitbit? An Apple Watch? You’re among the growing number of people entering the wearables craze.

These portable monitors collect reams of data about those wearing them, including heart rate and the number of steps walked. When synced to a Web or computer program, the wearables can start to gather data that can determine whether users are getting their needed exercise.

Wearables tie in perfectly with wellness programs, which have become a staple of employer-offered health care plans. In many cases, insurance rates can be tied to wellness program participation. Wellness administrators such as Viverae offer online platforms where users can log and track various fitness metrics, such as their daily number of steps. Users can also sync their wearables to such sites.

Like wellness programs, wearables don't appear to be going anywhere any time soon. According to ABI Research, more than 13 million wearables will be synced with corporate wellness programs by 2018.

For employers, wearables can enhance an existing wellness program or jump-start a new one. Employee education could be key. If workers know of the benefits of meeting wellness incentives and are aware of how an Apple Watch or a Fitbit can help them meet the benchmarks needed to lower their health-plan costs, it's possible that more of the workforce might elect to use these devices.

The appeal of wearables to companies should be obvious. If employees use wearables to meet wellness and fitness goals, the result could be a fitter, healthier, happier, more productive workforce.

For more questions on wearables, wellness programs and other employee benefits matters, contact your Plexus client representative directly, or reach out to us at 847-307-6100 (Deer Park), 312-606-4800 (Chicago), 972-770-5010 (Dallas) or 405-840-3033 (Oklahoma). You can also contact us via the Web.