Monday, May 16, 2016

Is wearable technology at work the secret ingredient?

From FitBit to Jawbone to the Apple Watch and many more devices, wearable technology has really taken off in the past years. But does it have a place in an office setting?

First let’s go over what I mean by wearable technology: I am referring to an activity tracker. It’s works by slipping a sensor into your pocket, around your wrist, worn as a necklace or clipped onto your clothing. It will track your steps, distance traveled, calories burned and depending on the brand, your sleep patterns. The tracker then uploads that information online or to an app, giving you the opportunity to track your progress over time.

How would that fit into the workplace?

Did you know the average office worker walks 1,000 – 3,000 steps a day when the surgeon general recommends 10,000 a day? 10,000 steps may seem like a lot (for an average person it’s about 5 miles or if you’re on the short side like me, only about 4 miles) but if you start slow you’ll get there.

Try setting your daily step count goal to 3,000 and after you hit your goal increase it by 500 steps a week until you teach 10,000.

Do you love competition? Find out who else has an activity tracker in your office and set up a step challenge. Who can get the most steps in a day or a week, the loser buys coffee. It’s a great way to motive yourself and also have a buddy to step it up with.

Do you find yourself waking up still tired every day? Many of the trackers come with a sleep tracking function as well as a silent alarm. This tracking function records when you go to bed, when you fall asleep, light sleep vs deep sleep as well as your pattern of waking up throughout the night. You can wear your tracker to bed and using the alarm clock feature, have it buzz you awake in the morning with a gentle vibration. It feels far less intrusive than an alarm clock and I noticed I felt more refreshed when waking up.

A simple way to utilize this data is to structure your day around how much sleep you got the night before. You can work on the more brainpower-heavy projects on days you are more rested.

Here are a couple other things to do with your wearable tech if it has a reminder alarm feature:
·         Set an alarm so your tracker vibrates after a certain amount of time of inactivity and get up and do a lap around the office
o    I have mine set to alert me between the hours of 9-5 (even on the weekends) if I am sedentary for longer than an hour. I am beginning to instinctively recognize when I have been sitting to long and use my sit-stand desk to stand up and get my blood flowing.
o   Set a reminder to drink water (this will also help you get up every hour with a walk to the water cooler)
Set a reminder an hour before you plan to leave the office and use that as your wrap up hour

How to get those extra steps after you leave the office:
  • Take a walk with your spouse, child, or friend
  • Walk the dog
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Park farther from the store
  • Get up to change the channel
  • Window shop
  • Walk over to visit a neighbor
  • Get outside to walk around the garden or do a little weeding
The rewards of hitting your step or sleep goals every day, no matter how insignificant it seems, adds a powerful element of positive reinforcement toward simply staying active, which is especially important when you’re building healthy habits.

Let your wearable technology encourage you to move and let the One-Touch Sit-Stand desk help you get up and move!

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