Health-related applications are among the top three apps employees are most interested in using on their smartphones or tablets. Weather-related apps came in at No. 1, cited by 53.6% of respondents, followed by music (52.9%) and health-related (51.2%).
“We were impressed with how switched-on and savvy the population is,” says Todd McGuire, chief technology officer with incentaHEALTH, which conducted the survey of 2,000 employees.
The most popular wellness-related apps were exercise (32%), logging and tracking food and caloric intake and biometric data such as blood pressure, weight, glucose, etc. (29.7%) and meal planning (26%).
Over 90% of those surveyed use Facebook and among those doing so, 27.7% of them visit the social networking site multiple times a day. “The frequency with which they’re using these tools surprised us,” says McGuire.
incentaHEALTH recently launched a “Brag to Facebook” feature on its online wellness portal that allows employees to share their wellness successes on the social networking site. “They’re already on Facebook so we thought ‘let’s integrate with what they’re doing already,’” says McGuire. “The day we turned it on, people started using it.”
McGuire sees a shift in the industry from a passive approach of simply offering employees wellness and health information to a more active push model that leverages technology employees are already using. Forty percent of employees in its wellness programs, for example, have signed up for a text messaging service that sends up to three text messages a day.
“It’s easy to do shorter term challenges but from a behavior change point of view you need something long term,” he says.
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