Smart Benefits: 7 Hot New Wellness Tools
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Recess is back... for adults, that is. Keen Footwear and Dr. Toni Yancey, author of “Instant Recess, Building a Fit Nation 10 minutes at a Time,” have teamed up to encourage employers to give daily ten minute fitness breaks to employees. Keen makes it easy by providing a free, online toolkit with calendars, tips, suggested activities, and even advice for “selling” the program to the c-suite.
With Basis Bands, it’s all in the wrist. Worn on the wrist like a watch, these gadgets monitor heartbeats, calculate calories burned, and track sleep patterns at night and activity levels by day. Not only can wearers can identify trends over time, they can use Basis Bands to set health goals, earn points and chart progress – all as easy as telling time. While not yet available, the company is accepting reservations at www.mybasis.com.
This app for runners, available on iPhones and iPods, uses beat-sync technology that changes the beat of the music to match your running pace. Run faster and the music picks up, slow down and the music does, too. Plus, the app tracks calories burned as you run – inside or out. The price is $3.99 on the iTunes store.
FiBit Aria Smart Scale
This modern scale measures much more than pounds. The Aria tracks weight, body mass index and body fat, which can be wirelessly uploaded to a personal account for easy progress check-ins. And, working in tandem with FitBit’s free iPhone app, users can log food and water intake, workouts, weight and calories to provide a complete dashboard of daily activity.
Can’t afford a personal health coach? MiLife is an online coaching system that provides customized fitness schemes and recommendations for healthier diets and exercise regimes. To take part, users wear an activity band that stores personal health information, which is transferred to a computer where it’s analyzed for feedback. Each user has a personal page on the MiLife website to review progress, weekly recommendations, and even chat with other participants. To follow the development of MiLife, go here.
Keas is a wellness program developed by one of Google’s founders that uses social media and online gaming to target personal health needs. The fun, interactive forum improves employee health by increasing engagement and creating positive behavior change. With Keas, team support, status, rewards and recognition motivate employees to “play their way to health.” www.keas.com
This holiday season, Nintendo is releasing Wii U, along with new wellness-compatable exercise games like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013. This product is sure to get users moving with 125 workouts and 215 moves that can be customized into a four-week exercise program. And Fitness Evolved fuels competition by allowing online challenges and competitions with friends and family anywhere.
Now's the time
With holidays looming one after the next, now is the time to energize your wellness program with any of these new and exciting products.
Amy Gallagher has over 19 years of healthcare industry experience. As Vice President at Cornerstone Group, she advises large employers on long-term cost-containment strategies, consumer-driven solutions and results-driven wellness programs.
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