Can Your Smartphone Make You Healthier?
Our reliance on smart technology could actually be utilised to improve our health and wellbeing.
The negative effects of smartphones have been well documented, from issues with neck pain, to blue light keeping you awake at night, and distractions while walking. While it’s important to pay attention to possible health risks, most of these can be minimised by correct and proper use of this technology.
However, with increasingly busy lives, people are relying more on smartphones or tablets to get things done. So how can smart technology be incorporated in your health and wellbeing programmes?
Many companies find their staff leading rather sedentary lifestyles, especially those who have to sit at a desk, on a bus, train, or behind a till all day. Simply taking part in the cycle to work incentive, run and partially funded by the government, is a great way to encourage your employees to ditch the car and use pedal power to get to work. Cycling to work is an easy and cost-effective way that has a real positive effect on your employees. It saves them money and keeps them fit all through active travel.
One of our clients took incentivising activity to a new level and offered each employee a fitness tracking band free of charge from their Hapi platform. Employees could compete to walk the most steps each month, with their progress plotted on a central map. Staff were incentivised through a monthly £500 prize, which could be spent on health and wellbeing products or experiences.
Healthcare on Demand
There is more demand for general practice doctors than ever before, with the workload for GPs having risen by 16% over the last seven years. This has resulted in the average wait time for a GP appointment in the UK resting at around two weeks. This increased wait time has a knock-on effect on workforce productivity. Much of this sickness absence is due to minor illnesses which employees could receive treatment for quickly and easily, it could be reduced by simply getting your employees to see a GPs faster, rather than waiting the two-week average.
Technological advancements have made the delivery of remote healthcare possible anytime, anywhere. Well, anywhere that you would be happy discussing your health issues that is. There’s no longer any need to go to a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic*, employees can discuss their health concerns at home or the office.
Providing employees with instant access to medical advice and healthcare can greatly reduce both absenteeism caused by attending traditional GP appointments and the presenteeism caused by delaying seeking medical advice. An online doctor could also save your employees, their partners and their children valuable time, with services offering waiting times of as little as three minutes.
Some services will even provide employers with anonymised reports to help them better understand the health and wellbeing needs of their employees, whilst maintaining patient confidentiality.
Prioritise Mental Health
Stress levels amongst UK workers are rising. Employees need more support than ever before, but have far less time to take care of themselves. This is where integrating an Employee Assistance Programme into an easy to access App can make all the difference. EAP has come a long way and with the advent of technology in employee benefits programmes, staff can access support whenever and wherever suits them best.
Employees tend to carry their smartphones with them wherever they go. Even remote workforces can be contacted at the tap of a button. So make sure you’re keeping mobile technology in mind when considering the effectiveness and usability of your health and wellbeing programmes.
Want more information about how mobile technology can improve the wellbeing of your staff members? Give us a call today, we’re always Hapi to help.
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