You’ve heard about mobile wellness, maybe you use mobile wellness – but what exactly is mobile wellness and more importantly, why is it important?
Along with what seems like every industry, the wellness industry has gone mobile and it’s done so in a major way. Over the past few years, mobile wellness technology has gone from niche to mainstream, from fitness fanatic to average consumer. Big technology players like Apple and Samsung have recently emerged on the wellness scene with large marketing budgets and national advertising campaigns highlighting their wellness products.
It’s easy for the importance of mobile wellness technology for employee wellness to get lost amongst Apple’s glitzy marketing campaigns and company slogans. So, let’s rewind slightly and start from the beginning.
What is mobile wellness?
Mobile wellness technology can be divided into two categories: devices and software (apps). Wellness devices are hardware tools that can be used to engage in wellness activity. Activity trackers and pedometers are the most common. Some devices are worn the on the wrist, others are worn on a shoe or on the waist. Fitbit and Jawbone UP are examples of two of the most popular activity trackers.
Software mobile wellness means mobile apps that run on smartphones and other mobile devices. There are over 40,000 health and wellness apps in the market and they provide every type of wellness tool imaginable. RunKeeper, an app that helps users track running and other movement activity, and FatSecret, an app that helps users track their daily nutrition are among the most popular mobile apps.
Why is mobile wellness important for employee wellness?
Mobile technology has ushered in a new era for the wellness industry and there are many reasons to be excited. Specifically, in the corporate wellness market, we see mobile technology having what we call the CAP effect. The CAP effect stands for Cost, Accessibility, and Participation
Many mobile wellness apps are free to download and use. Free wellness tools reduce the overall cost for a wellness program. Instead of investing in wellness tools, employers can use their wellness budget to provide more lucrative incentives that will increase employee engagement.
Mobile device and app wellness allows employees to engage in health and wellness resources on-demand 24/7. On-demand 24/7 doesn’t mean wellness needs to be used around the clock. In fact, the importance of convenient and accessible wellness tools is that engagement can occur on each user’s terms – when he or she wants and not when it’s inconvenient.
Mobile technology allows employers to achieve higher employee participation levels. The mobile wellness revolution has ushered in a greater volume of wellness technology tools, and there is an option for everyone. Many of these tools can also be offered as part of a corporate wellness program. More wellness options means a greater chance that something appeals to each employee.
Mobile design, which emphasizes simplicity and ease of use, has been applied to wellness technology. Devices and apps are sleek, easy to use, and fun – the result is greater participation and improved outcomes.