If you’re familiar with the Virgin brand, then you’re familiar with Richard Branson. Richard is the founder of the Virgin Group, is the biggest influencer on Linkedin, and is motivated by finding ways that business can be sustainable and make people’s lives better. Richard believes that if you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your business, and your customers will take care of your shareholders.
Richard has this mission flow through all of the companies in the Virgin Group, and you’re likely familiar with many of these companies, each of which is known for providing exceptional customer experience.
But no where carries out this mission more than Virgin Pulse, where we epitomize the people part of the equation. Because at Virgin Pulse our mission is to change lives for good, and to make companies great! We do this with more than 250 clients that care about their 1.5 million-plus employees. And our renewal is the best in the industry. 96% of our clients stay with us.
79% of US adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise, according to the CDC.
75% don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, also according to the CDC.
40% are sleep deprived, according to Gallop.
54% have less face-to-face time with friends, and 32% of feel lonelier, both according to Harris Interactive.
That’s not the only thing. There are big time affects to this data. When employees are not feeling like they have enough time in the day, they cut exercising, they go for whatever meal is most convenient, they shorten the time they have to sleep, and they don’t live life outside of work. The results of this? Employees that are stressed, overweight, and in poor health.
They’re glued to their technology and it’s seeping into their personal lives. It’s time to make technology work for us, not us for it
What can you do to help? Get them moving.
Exercise improves just about every aspect of their lives, which benefits employees, company culture, and the bottom line. How can you promote healthy habits?
Fitness wearables drive healthy behavior change
There are already roughly 100,000 health applications available in major app stores, and the top 10 mobile health applications generate up to 4 million free and 300,000 paid daily downloads. Consumer adoption of mobile health apps will proceed apace. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-will-disrupt-health-care-2013-9#ixzz2zvCZ0jRw
The guidelines recommend moderate- intensity physical activity. Moderate-intensity walking is approximately equal to 100 steps per minute (a brisk pace that is walking like you are late to a meeting). It is not a relaxing stroll. This pace is approximately equal to 3.00 - 5.99 ‘metabolic equivalents’ (METS) which is the recommended intensity or effort required to perform the physical activity. To meet current physical activity guidelines, individuals are encouraged to walk a minimum of 3,000 steps in 30 minutes on 5 days each week to achieve 3 – 5.99 METS of effort or at least 100 steps per minute. 
Depending upon occupation, the typical American accumulates approximately 2,000 – 6,000 steps in a day by going about their daily activities, not including moderate or intense physical activity. Other studies found that average daily step counts for sedentary populations were <5,000 per day, with step counts decreasing with age.  Data analyzed from the Virgin Pulse database had similar findings; the median steps for the first day of pedometer use was 4,446 steps.
Therefore, the SME guidance determined that when using a pedometer the first 4,000 steps do not contribute to the 3,000 steps per day recommendations. The 3,000 steps per day recommendations (equal to 30 minutes of moderately brisk walking) are achieved when added to the base ‘daily living steps’ which are approximately 4,000 steps in the typical sedentary American, in order to achieve the guidelines. In other words, to reach the 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking or 3,000 steps recommendation, users would have to add 30 minutes or 3,000 steps of deliberate walking/stepping to their ‘base’ daily routine; approximately 4,000 steps for the typical inactive American. Therefore, the daily minimum target of steps per day is 7,000.
Daily Engagement Platform – Pedometers
Simple walking devices (pedometers) that securely and reliably communicate to a users’ personal web portal were becoming available. Pedometers are low cost, effective devices with satisfactory levels of accuracy to monitor walking. This new technology enabled the use of two effective behavioral techniques, tracking and feedback, to become core components of the physical activity program. These techniques increase the likeliness of adoption of a health behavior. Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of pedometers to increase physical activity. [6, 7] Pedometers provide a validated data source, meaning, it is not self-reported data. For employers who provide incentives for healthy behaviors, physical activity tracking devices like the pedometer, offer a better way to verify the accuracy of the data.
Feedback helps allows participants to know how they are doing relative to the program defaults and their personal goals. This is an important behavior change strategy of the social cognitive theory and has been used in many successful physical activity programs.[20, 27, 30]
The Virgin Pulse program provides feedback related to the data provided by the program participants.
Providing feedback that recognizes a person’s accomplishment provides both feedback to the individual regarding their progress toward their goals and at the same time can provide encouragement and reinforcement of the behavior. Feedback and reinforcement are key behavior change strategies in effective physical activity programs.[27, 30]
Providing reminders to individuals who have not participated provides ongoing encouragement to help them stay on track. Such reminders are cues to perform the behavior. Cues for behavior change are used in the Transtheoretical Model and Social Cognitive Theory. [20, 32] Programs that have maintained contact with participants and continued to either prompt them to return to the program or provided ongoing support have been shown to effectively increase physical activity.[33-35]
How wearable fitness tech is changing employee health & wellness
Senior Director, Marketing, Virgin Pulse
FOR COMPANIES TO
BE AT THEIR BEST,
MUST BE AT THEIR BEST.
FOR EMPLOYEES TO
BE AT THEIR BEST,
THEY MUST TAKE
CARE OF THEMSELVES.
A 10- to 40-minute
burst of exercise leads to
an immediate boost in
concentration and mental
focus. Source: British
People who exercise during the workday
are 23% more productive than on days
when they don't exercise. Source:
International Journal of Workplace
Researchers from the Penn State
University found in their study that
the more physically active people
reported greater general feelings of
excitement and enthusiasm,
compared with less physically
Source: Journal of Sport &
Poor nutrition is
cognitive impairment. There
are increasing data to support
The intake of five fruits and vegetables or
selected vitamins may be useful for identifying
the oxidative stress and inflammation involved in
the genesis of cardiometabolic diseases (heart
the role of nutrition in maintaining
cognition. Source: Morley, J. (2014).
"Cognition and nutrition." Curr Opin Clin
Nutr Metab Care 17(1): 1-4.
disease, diabetes) and for motivating at-risk patients
for changing dietary habits. Source: Folchetti, L.,
Monfort-Pires, M., de Barros, CR., Martini, LA.,
Ferreira, SR. (2014).
People with an insufficient amount of sleep are
more likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes,
depression, and even cancer. Source: Institute of
Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation:
An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington,
DC: The National Academies Press; 2006
have less energy, poorer
cognitive function, less
productivity at work and
home, and have decreased
ability to cope with stress.
Source: Turgiss, Dr. Jennifer.
Asleep On the Job: The Causes and
Consequences of Employees’
Disrupted Sleep and How Employers
Can Help. Virgin Pulse. 2014.
Social support increases happiness, satisfaction
with life and decreases loneliness. Source:
McAuley, E., Blissmer, B., Marquez, DX., Jerome, GJ., Kramer,
AF., Katula, J. (2000). "Social relations, physical activity, and
well-being in older adults." Prev Med 31(5): 608-617.
CONSUMER WEARABLES /
DEVICES IS ALREADY A
$14B GLOBAL MARKET
(FORECASTED TO BE $70B BY 2024)
OVER 100,000 CONSUMER
HEALTH & FITNESS APPS
OVER 1.5 BILLION
DOWNLOADS PER YEAR
GOAL IS PURSUED
IN CONCERT WITH
1 in 3
LIKELY TO BUY
“Because they are designed to be worn close to
the body, [wearable devices are] ideal for
monitoring our vital signs and health. They'll
track how active we are, our sleep quality, and
how many steps we take during the day.
Consumers of all sorts — fitness buffs, dieters,
and the elderly — will come to rely on them.”
The Business Insider
LOWER RISK 0F