by Beth Shepard    Beth's profile on LinkedIn  

Fitness Wearables: Love, Hate, and In-Between

“Oh man, I forgot to wear my Fitbit® today! Now that walk I took at lunchtime won’t count.” “I left my Jawbone® home; if I can’t track my walk, I might as well not do it.” Sound familiar?

Sales of fitness wearables are skyrocketing. People are raving about these stylish bracelets and clip-on trackers as if they’re the Holy Grail of fitness and weight loss… until the novelty wears off. Organizations are buying devices for all employees and expecting 1-size-fits-all results. Some employers even require achievement of an arbitrary step goal for premium discounts or cash prizes. 

There are benefits; fitness wearables provide a relatively objective measure of daily activity, they’re fun to use in well-being challenges, plus they can make tracking progress easy and motivating. But not for everyone.

Friend or Foe?

When HR and well-being professionals set an expectation that devices are a magical, end-all solution for everyone, they do participants a disservice. As is the case with many aspects of health and well-being, the people are different concept applies here: 

by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

We’re lucky to work in a field where creativity is a cornerstone of success. But the day-to-day grind can sometimes derail us from our creative intent. Keep these keys in mind to stay on track:

  • Believe you are creative — if you tell yourself you’re not, you won’t be.
  • Look for many possible answers; don’t assume the first solution is best — it usually isn’t, especially if you haven’t shared it and gotten input from other creative people.
by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

We’ve helped several clients conduct simple to elaborate needs assessments recently and are struck by the seemingly illogical conclusions reached by some high-level managers. When it comes to health data, market research rules sometimes get tossed in favor of opinion or the way they think things ought to be. Here are 4 common mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t expect your research to necessarily produce dramatic news. Some managers want to justify their project by making something from nothing. If you’re lucky, the data will grow in your direction over time, but just as often it moves in the other direction and you’ve made the wrong decision.
by Dean Witherspoon   Dean's profile on LinkedIn  

Although “hanging chads” from the 2000 Presidential election haven’t come into play since (thankfully), every year there’s some confusion about the proper way to cast votes. The challenge highlights what veteran well-being managers have known for years: people miss a lot, don’t read thoroughly, and often fail to ask for help when they’re unsure what to do next. These problems usually can be caught and corrected with simple usability tests.

Would Mom Get It?
The reality check we often use at Health Enhancement Systems for testing new materials, websites, or promotional tools is “Would Mom get it?” The idea is to see whether someone not typically exposed to the thing you’re testing would easily grasp what you want them to do.