Business of Well-being

Apple Smart Watch - A Corporate Wellness Game Changer

For those who closely follow the Corporate Health & Wellness space, wearable technology that monitors weight, blood pressure, heart rate, calories burned, quality of sleep and so forth, is nothing new to you. As discussed just last week in Corporate Wellness Magazine's article, Watch your Step - Smart Watches and other Wearables for Health & Fitness wearable devices, including the much anticipated Apple smart watch, will profoundly affect the health and wellness of millions of Americans.

Rumored to include many of the features that other watches, bracelets, clip-ons, and clothing offer, the Apple Watch which some hoped would include something as revolutionary as to change the world as we know it, which does not appear to be the case.

While the new device, which will be available next year, is truly remarkable, combining watch, phone, camera, calendar, and assorted fitness trackers and health monitors, it doesn't really do anything your smartphone doesn't do and it offers nothing new to the Corporate Wellness crowd that doesn't already exist.

Except for changing the world as we know it. The fact is that Apple has always given us things we thought we didn't need, then, couldn't live without. And it will be the same for the Apple Watch, which will significantly affect the realm of Corporate Wellness and the health of Americans.

Just as the popularity of gyms, home fitness equipment, personal trainers and such, preceded the development of wellness programs in the workplace, the Apple Watch will undoubtedly drag many corporate managers into the 21st century simply because it is trendy.

For years, corporate health and wellness programs have been slow to mimic the wellness preferences of their employees-slow to recognize the substantial financial benefit of wellness programs, including lower Healthcare and Workman's Comp costs, reduced absenteeism and increased productivity-companies change as society changes, and that is what Apple does best.

OK, so the Apple Watch can't wash your car or change your kid's diaper; it can and will change the workplace as employees begin to wear it in increasing numbers. And just as the iPhone gave rise to a thousand different apps, a device at the office that pays attention to an employee's health and fitness will prompt their bosses to move ever closer to the full implementation of Health and Wellness programs.

Just like the development of microwaveable meals followed the invention of the microwave oven, the Apple Watch will, it turns out, change the game and once again remind us that invention is sometimes the mother of necessity.

-Alan Forray - Senior Editor

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