9 ways corporate fitness and wellness programs will change in 2016

by Dec 17, 2015

James A. Martin | CIO

Employee fitness and wellness programs continued to grow in popularity during recent years. For example, 70 percent of U.S. employers now offer some kind of employee wellness program, up from 58 percent in 2008, according to a study released in June 2015 by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Despite this notable increase, enterprises will face challenges in 2016 related to their fitness and wellness programs, including ongoing security and privacy concerns among employees and the need to keep staff engaged with new features, rewards and challenges.

Here’s a look at some of the top trends in technology-backed fitness and wellness programs for 2016.

Gamification, social networking key to corporate wellness in 2016

To encourage and maintain staff participation in fitness initiatives, gamification and social networking will become even more important in 2016.

“People got super excited about ‘the quantified self’ in 2015, with a whirlwind of wireless wearables taking the corporate wellness world by storm,” says Sonic Boom Wellness CEO Danna Korn. But next year, “we’ll see that 2015’s mass investment in Fitbits and other devices will be for naught, unless companies find a way to sustain interest in them.”

“With employees providing an inherent social networking framework, companies will need to find programs that play upon that sociality by ‘gamifying’ wellness and encouraging social interaction alongside wellness efforts,” Korn says. “All the excitement about fitness, fitness apps, and fancy gadgets will fizzle out without more substance and structured social programming in place.”

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