Chronic Condition Management, Foundational Health Behaviors, Health Systems, Workforce Health | By | 10/24/18

4 Ways Data Can Help You Create Smart Wellness Programs

You may already have an engaging corporate wellness program filled with excited employees who are motivated to participate in activity challenges for better health and incentives. Or, you may not have a corporate wellness program in place just yet, but are toying with the idea of implementing one at your company.

An upside of hosting a corporate wellness program through Fitbit is that, provided your employees give consent to share their data, the easy-to-use dashboard has enough information to gain insights through longitudinal data. If you know where to look, you can spot meaningful trends in this data, and modify your wellness programs and activity challenges accordingly.

Here are a few insights on what stats you may want to consider and how you can adapt your plan to your unique workforce demographics.  

Identify and engage newcomers. While you may have employees that participate in many of your challenges, you probably have a handful that are either new hires or rookies that have never joined a competition. Compare the number of participating employees seen in your dashboard to the overall number of people who work at your company. To up your ratio, consider having a first-timers challenge (with a motivating incentive, such as a full day of PTO) to encourage newbies to ramp up, get connected, and have fun with group fitness competition.

Push your elite athletes. Marathons, 5K Color Runs, century bike rides, Mud runs, swim-a-miles, Ironman triathlons—the list of competitive and charity events in any city in America is extensive. So the odds are high that a handful of your employees are training for an event. If you have elected to view data on an individual level within the dashboard, use your dashboard to locate the overachievers, such as employees who average 15K or more daily steps. Get them together for a challenge, and see if you can help them achieve their training goals. Doing so may help inspire others to up their fitness game.

Individualize by team. By looking at activity by group or location, you may realize that one team is way below your corporate norm on steps and activity. Maybe a big project is keeping employees stuck at their desks?

One idea is to set up challenges by department, and then work with mid-managers on developing an activity that helps their employees communicate while on the move. For example, instead of holding the weekly meeting in a conference room, suggest that the group conduct the meeting during a stroll outside. Or organize a special lunchtime fitness class, just for their group.

Breathe deep for better sleep. If you see your aggregate sleep data take a turn for the worse, work stress could be a factor. In a recent report, 61 percent of Americans list “work” as a common source of stress. For nearly half of Americans (45 percent) in the survey, lying awake at night was a stress outcome.

One mindfulness component to suggest for your employees’ wellness routines is deep breathing, which has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety. Fitbit has an on-device breathing experience, Relax, that is easy to use and guides users in two or five-minute breathing sessions. Relax personalizes each session, using real-time heart rate data to measure heart rate variability (beat-to-beat changes).  

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