Many of us are using wearable devices and their apps to track activities such as step count, heart rate, sleep, nutrition, and more. It’s true, millions of people are watching their numbers on devices in an attempt to get healthy and fit. However, a recent article published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, “Effect of Wearable Technology Combined With a Lifestyle Intervention on Long-term Weight Loss – The IDEA Randomized Clinical Trial” found that among 471 randomized young adults, the addition of a wearable technology device to a standard behavioral intervention resulted in less weight loss over 24 months. Fitness trackers may record the “numbers” but education, practice, and support are necessary to help people answer the questions “Why should I do this? How will it help? and How do I do it?”
Programs that change health habits and lead to better health outcomes require education, practice, and support. ConnectWell’s VibrantLife℠ Wellness Initiatives are science-based and help employees develop the capacity for improved health and well-being. Each initiative consists of a Self-Guided Wellness Exhibit combined with a Wellness Challenge and Toolkit. Separate initiatives support Nutrition, Physical Activity, Stress Management, and Sleep. All initiative materials can be translated into multiple languages to meet the diverse needs of any organization and can be customized with an organization’s wellness brand to fit with an overall worksite wellness program.
Self-Guided Wellness Exhibits = Education
Self-guided Wellness Exhibits educate participants through a series of posters and support materials that are displayed at worksites. This format allows worksites to reach all employees since it can be made available at multiple time periods and locations. A virtual version is available to reach remote employees and family members. Posters, handouts, prop suggestions, and instructions for set-up are provided and make the exhibit easy to implement. During these fun and interactive Wellness Exhibits, employees are guided by a Passport to Learning which prompts them to assess their current practices and think about how they can improve their habits moving forward.
Wellness Challenges = Daily Practice
After the Wellness Exhibit, employees start a 4-week Wellness Challenge to put health education and guidelines into practice. ConnectWell offers multiple challenges for each initiative and are designed to be community-based worksite experiences. Each challenge focuses on building healthy habits by reinforcing and practicing critical skills in the challenge area. Participants track their health behaviors – enabling them to turn a practice into a habit over time. These challenges are supported with scripted email communications to support participation and engagement. Employees take surveys at the beginning and end of the challenge to gain insight about the impact of the challenge in forming new health habits. Celebration guidelines are provided to wrap up the challenge and recognize collective efforts.
Toolkits = Support Tools
ConnectWell’s Toolkits include educational modules that act as a support tool to aid people as they learn about and adopt new health practices. The Toolkits are presented in a format that makes the information easy-to-understand, enabling employees and their families to put the information into practice. Organizations are provided Toolkits as modules in individual PDF format to distribute through email attachments and to print or post to a wellness portal or Intranet.
Wearable devices are an addition to the wellness arsenal and do a good job of answering the question “How much?” by tracking activities. Imagine how valuable wearable devices could be when a paired with ConnectWell Vibrant Life℠ Initiatives to answer the questions “Why should I do this? How will it help? and How do I do it?”
Contact ConnectWell to bring these initiatives to your worksite.