These days, when you buy a new device or download a new app, it's probably not a new smartphone or game; chances are that, instead, it's a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit wearable or Apple Watch, or a wellbeing app that lets you track your steps or sleeping habits.
Worldwide, the wellness sector's value is now touching £2.8 trillion, according to a Global Wellness Institute report relayed by the Telegraph. Furthermore, businesses are taking notice in various ways.
Wellness tech's journey from the home to the workplace
As noted, you've probably invested - yes, financially - in your own health in recent years. Analytics firm GlobalData reports that British consumers alone are, by 2022, expected to yearly spend £487 per head on "wellness", while about 20% of us use an app or device to track our steps, says Mintel.
The growing provenance of "wellness" - however irritating a buzzword that can seem - has trickled through to the corporate sphere. Tech firms are investigating how to incorporate extra functionality into their wearables; future models could measure the likes of stress or ultraviolet exposure.
However, companies are also looking into how to better look after their own employees. One Forbes article mentions research revealing that over 80% of US-based companies with over fifty employees offered at least some kind of corporate wellness benefit.
How can we expect businesses to adopt tech innovations?
As companies like Fitbit and Apple bring out new, health-oriented hardware, we can expect businesses around the world to adapt to suit. Your local gym, for example, could introduce new equipment with which the usual wearables could be synchronised.
Dave Wright - CEO of MyZone, a purveyor of wearable products already capable of such synchronisation - has explained: "Customers are increasingly demanding more intuitive, real-time data that is easy to digest to improve their gym experience."
Businesses are strongly incentivised to keep their workers healthy
Even in the UK, where only 45% of businesses have been estimated to offer workplace wellness schemes, this figure is thought to be increasing. That's after a report hinting that, per worker, the average tally of working days lost to absenteeism or presenteeism yearly has gone from 23 to 30.
If you run a company yourself, you could be prompted to take account of this startling news by implementing a workplace wellness scheme at your company. However, not all such schemes are as prominent or proactive as they need to be for optimum results.
One example of a proactive solution would be the employee assistance programme from LifeWorks, which will touch on all aspects of your workforce's health and engage with all of your staff. You would need to act quickly to keep pace with the pack...
According to Deloitte's Health & Wellness Progress Report reflecting on 2018 survey findings, two million member companies took part in health and wellness programmes in 2018. That's a noticeable increase from the 2017 figure of 1.6 million and suggests that your company shouldn't drag its heels in bolstering its corporate wellness offering.