Apps track fitness goals

By Brittany King

With a new year comes new fitness and health goals. While some people will look to an accountability partner to help them shed a few pounds or minutes off their mile time, recent advancements in fitness-tracking technology make it easier than ever to track your progress and health goals. 

Not only are fitness trackers like FitBit, AppleWatch and Nike’s Run Club app available to aid in reaching your fitness goals, more and more businesses across the country are encouraging their employees to get up from behind their desks and get moving. In fact, Forbes estimates that more than 70 percent of public companies are offering or plan to offer some type of wellness program. 

Company incentive programs range from employee run clubs where employees are encouraged to leave work and hit the track to organization-wide weight loss clubs where colleagues can celebrate one another’s weight loss progress. In Indiana, the state has a program where employees receive incentives when they log exercises with a fitness tracker. Some organizations even reward employees who do things like go to the doctor, run a race or who don’t smoke. But company-wide health and fitness programs don’t have to be written into an organization’s policy to make them a reality. And if you’re still on the fence about adopting a program like this here are a few benefits of supporting your employees with their health endeavors. 

Makes Getting Active Convenient

Waking up early to get in a workout before an 8 a.m. meeting isn’t ideal, especially if you add children to the mix. By creating a space in your office building for a small gym, dance room or even standing desks, companies can make the lives of their employees just a bit easier. Some companies take advantage of fitness trackers like FitBits so employees can track their steps. Each step counts toward points which employees can cash in for a small prize. It’s about making movement more accessible and easier to do throughout the day. 

Creates an Accountability Team

If weight loss is the goal, it can be difficult to step on the scale one week and not see any progress. But a little healthy competition can be motivation when you’re doing well or wanting to get back on track. A sense of comradery and support that exists outside of work projects can even make work stronger for those who participate in these programs, according to Forbes contributor Allan Kohll. 

If your company uses the Weight Watchers program to help employees meet weight loss goals, the Weight Watchers app can keep them on track. The app has more than 4,000 Weight Watchers recipes as well as their SmartPoints value, and you can sync the app to your fitness device. 

Shows Employees You Care

When people are treated like a number, rather than individuals, each with different goals and aspirations, it can wear them down over time. A company showing an interest and stake in workers goals creates a sense of belonging.

The Payoff

According to a report from the United States Department of Labor, offering support and incentives for employees looking to better their health actually saves the company money in the long run. Employees who take advantage of these programs are more likely to be alert while at work, more productive and feel supported and included in the workplace. These characteristics have shown to decrease employee stress and increase retention.