Workplace wellness programs have now been around for a couple of decades in one form or another. Having a fitness center on-site is viewed as a desirable perk—and even getting a discount on a gym membership off-site provides some value to employees. But working out a few times a week isn’t enough to offset all the hours office workers spend sitting each day. As a result, workplace wellness and ergonomics initiatives are starting to focus more on changing how people move throughout the workday. Here are a few of the new high-tech tools and toys that are transforming wellness at work:
Philips ErgoSensor Monitor
This 24” computer monitor includes a sensor system that helps employees practice good posture. It detects when a workers is sitting (or standing) in front of the screen and offers feedback on ways to improve ergonomic usage. For example, it can tell users how to fix their neck posture or how far away they should be from the screen. There’s even a reminder setting that alerts users when they need to take a break and stretch or go for a short walk.
This automated sit-to-stand desk doesn’t just passively wait for workers to decide when to switch postures. It actively suggests a move to a standing position if an employee has been sitting for too long. The desk makes a subtle up and down movement as if it is breathing in and out (a helpful reminder of yet another way to stay healthy). The user can interact with the workstation and move it up and down using the built-in control panel on the desk top. The Stir Kinetic desk is even designed to allow integration with fitness apps…which brings us to the next concept.
Workplace Wellness Wearables
Fitbit and other armband style fitness trackers are the latest gadgets in the Bring Your Own Device trend. But some companies are starting to see a benefit in formally issuing these trackers to employees. These devices are certainly a step up from the .99 cent pedometers that are discarded after a few weeks. At about $100 each, sophisticated wireless activity monitors provide information about everything from heart rate and calories burned to steps taken. Some can even track sleeping and waking habits for a 24 hour view of health at work and at home.
What is your company planning to add to its workplace wellness program this year? Let us know in the comments.