Employee Wellness Apps- The Way Forward For Employee Health
26 October, 2020
14 min read

In the wake of the horrific COVID-19 pandemic, global health is at a state of frantic. Nowadays, people are getting more and more cautious about their wellbeing. It is evident by strict health and safety rules in public areas, worldwide lockdown, the use of precautionary products, etc.

During these challenging times, it is crucial to maintain a safe working environment. It means trying out every possible measure to boost employee health levels. In this regard, digital software technology has made significant strides. One such example is the Employee Wellness Apps.

What is an Employee Wellness App?

Employee Wellness Apps are mobile apps that help monitor and maintain one's health. These apps achieve this feat by tracking and informing users on different wellness matters. It can be on physical movement, calorie intake, sleep patterns, fitness regime, etc.

The new-age employee wellness apps today cater not only to physical health but also to mental health. These apps present different interactive games to keep the mind sharp and calm. For reasons as such, these wellness apps are essential for proper office health.

Due to such applications, these are also in high demand for corporate wellness programs today. A study by Shortlister shows that 60% of employers prefer a mobile app for employee wellness programs.

Understanding this demand, you may question why these apps are in such demand. The main reason for their need is its benefit and effects on a workforce. Let's get to know the benefits first in our following subtopic.

Benefits of Employee Wellness Apps

1. Better Employee Health

As the sole objective of a wellness app is to increase fitness, it brings wonders to your workplace wellness plans. It subsequently results in reduced absenteeism, better productivity, and optimum operational efficiency.

2. Track the health of the Workforce

Since health is such a vital matter nowadays, you must keep an accurate tab of it. Having apps in this regard will make life a lot easier for you. With wellness apps, you can actively track your employee's health levels.

3. Reduce Healthcare Cost

Wellness apps promote an active lifestyle, and having an active workforce means having a fitter workforce. It means you have much fewer expenses in terms of healthcare costs. Fewer costs enables you to spend the money on other business elements better.

4. Health Risk Assessment

Health Risk Assessment are a crucial part of an employee wellness program. By giving vital information about employees, wellness apps are a great help in this regard. In doing so, they help employers carry health assessment as well.

5. Convenience

Since apps are never off duty, they prove to be of great assistance to employers. By being a digital tool, these apps are very accurate too. All these make life very easy for the corporates in terms of their Workforce's health management.

These are a few of the benefits of employee wellness apps for employers. Wellness apps have plenty of positive effects on the Workforce, too, as described below.

Effects of an Employee Wellness Apps on a Workforce

1. Knowledge

While working throughout the day, workers often don't get much time for their health. It means they don't have much knowledge about how to maintain a fit body as well. Employee wellness apps help educate these employees.

The different information on proper calorie intake, workout regime helps employees understand health better. It encourages employees to get a step closer to better health.

2. All-in-one tool for a healthy lifestyle

Wellness apps with calorie counters, steps tracker, gamification, etc. pose a perfect all-in-one package fitness option. It makes for convenience to track one's health from the employee's viewpoint.

3. Rewards

Rewards are always a happy surprise for everyone. By offering rewards against the tasks, these apps give an extra push towards improved health. It motivates workers even more, to engage in a healthy lifestyle.

4. Fun and Games

Fun and games always motivate us to be competitive. By adding the gamification feature in wellness apps, employees engage more willingly in wellness activities. This program participation furthermore increases your employee engagement levels too.

5. Competitive Aspect

The competitive aspect of being on the top of leaderboards is also an extra push for the workers for a fitter lifestyle. A healthy sense of competition in this regard also boosts workers' fitness levels.

These are a few of the positive effects of having a wellness app from the employee's viewpoint. By reading these points above, we hope you see the viability of wellness apps in the market today.

Before deciding on a wellness app, there are also a few essentials that one must know. These are the must-have wellness portal feautues. So, let's have a look at a few of these in brief.

Essentials Features of an Employee Wellness App

1. Privacy Elements

Health is a very private matter. Therefore, you must be sure your employee’s privacy is secure within this management platform. You must look into the terms and conditions carefully before choosing a wellness app.

2. Innovative and Motivational Approach

Wellness must be innovative and motivational in their approach. It means better UI/UX, concepts, attractive design, creative wellness challenges, etc. These things will motivate your employees to use it and ultimately get a fitter lifestyle.

3. Tracking and Monitoring

Tracking and monitoring are two of the primary functions of wellness apps. You must make sure that these two elements are working correctly. For example, the data must remain intact; the steps tracker must sync accurately, etc.

4. An Employee Rewards System

Having an employee rewards system is imperative for a wellness app. It is the ultimate motivator for pushing employees towards healthy behaviors. Therefore, you must make sure that there are specific incentives in your wellness app of choice.

It is because a reward system as such will help your corporate wellness program to a great extent.

5. Easy Assistance

Since these apps are digital products, there may be some occasional glitch. In this case, you need to have proper assistance from the app. It means having proper customer support for the app.

These are five vital wellness app features that one must look out to decide on an app.

Here are a few of the employee wellness apps you must consider to get you a head start.

Best Employee Wellness Apps to Try Out Today

1. Vantage Fit

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Vantage Fit is a holistic employee wellness platform by Vantage Circle. With various features like gamification, incentives, steps tracker, calorie counter, it is the best in this segment.

What's even better is that it is free for 100 users. Also, the exciting redeemable gift cards motivate employees even more towards healthy living.

Top Features: Employee Health Challenges and Competitions, In-app Tracker, Health Assessment, Mood-o-Meter, Personalized Dairy, Rewards.

2. Welltok

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Welltok is another alternative as an excellent health management platform. It helps workers set individual goals, track activity, and so on. One of the attractive features of this app is its use of games for better mental health maintenance.

It also helps engage workers by enabling the sharing of photos, tips, recipes through social media.

Top Features: Medication Management tool, Health, and Wellness, HEDIS (Healthcare Effectiveness Data And Information Set)

3. Edomondo

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Lack of exercise is a massive problem for corporate workers today. By spending almost the entire day sitting in front of a computer, they rarely stay fit. Edomondo looks to erase this inactive lifestyle by tracking employee workouts throughout the day.

It offers the users helpful guidance on how to reach one's goal. Edomondo also helps users connect with friends and family for extra motivation to workout.

Top Features: Real-Time GPS tracking, Audio feedback by professionals, workout history, heart rate sensors, multiple sports, workout music.

4. Hotseat

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Hotseat is the perfect option to get your employees off the desk and on to fitness. It designs unique challenges in the workplace premises for workers to participate. At the end of the period, the one standing tall in the challenge wins the game.

It has a unique take on fitness. For example, it reminds workers to take short two-minute activity work to keep one active. The integration that it has with iCal helps push these reminders as per the user convenience as well.

Top Features: Personalized mini-breaks, iCal sync up, Workout notifications, Games with friends and family, Activity tracker, progress checker, rewards.

5. MyFitnessPal

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healthy food in the workplace is an excellent step towards a healthy lifestyle. MyFitnessPal helps maintain proper nutrition by providing free to use calorie tracker. It includes a ton of food options to track for a nutritious meal at the office.

The calorie checker helps employees access accurate calorie intake throughout the day for a proper diet.

Top Features: Food analysis, personalized diet profile, different meal options, personal food database.

6. Elevate

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Wellness doesn't only mean physical exercise. It relates to mental exercising as well. This is where Elevate comes into play. It is a cognitive training app that exercises the mind with 35 different activities.

These activities take place in a game-like fashion making it more fun and engaging for workers.

Top Features: Inspirational messaging, progress monitor, challenges, personalized profile, Videos, Podcasts, Community building.

7. Meditation Studio

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Meditation at work is an excellent way to cope with workplace stress. Understanding this, Meditation Studio enables employees to access a ton of content in this regard. It offers 200+ guided meditation sessions by 27 leading experts in the field.

These are suitable for the office desk, meeting rooms, flights, and just about anywhere.

Top Features: A ton of guided meditation, Podcasts, Courses, Step-by-step guide, meditation for different aspects like pain, sleep, grief, etc.

Alternatives you can use as Free Employee Employee Wellness Apps.

1. Adidas Training

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4.8/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.7/5 stars in Apple App Store

The brand of the app says it all. Adidas is a big name in the fitness industry, and their app is none too shy either. This fitness app has several workout plans for remote workers to absorb with no equipment easily.

Other than this, the app also provides videos, just like the ones with a gym membership, to clear things up and give better experience. This app also comes with a paid subscription as well for the more enthusiastic individuals.

2. Nike Training Club

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4.2/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

Another giant in the fitness industry, Nike's Training Club, is Adidas's Training's most direct alternatives. The app offers focused workouts for best results targeting abs, core, arms, shoulders, boxing, Yoga, endurance workout, etc.

One of the attractive features of this app is bringing to users the celebrity featured fitness videos. Also, this app is free.

3. Daily Yoga

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4.8/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

Daily Yoga is the perfect fit for any yoga enthusiast, be it beginner, intermediate, or pro. This health app comes with 500+ positions, 70+ programs, 500+ guided sessions of Yoga, pilates, and meditation.

This app also features video and audio instruction that gel well with its intent with lots of free classes and paid sessions.

Owing to its utility, Daily Yoga was also named "Best Yoga App" for the year 2016-2019 by Healthline.

4. Yoga Studio

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4/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.4/5 stars in Apple App Store

Yoga Studio is a great yoga that comes with free and subscription models. The app comes with audio and video instructions. Other than Yoga, you can practice meditation too.

The meditation duration of this app ranges from 5-60 minutes, with over 130 videos.

Furthermore, this app enables scheduling, tracking, and setting goals, which further help achieve the user's objective.

5. Headspace

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3.5/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.9/5 stars in Apple App Store

Headspace offers its users a range of over 500+ themed meditations that cover anxiety, stress, sleep, and mindfulness. This app is best for both the beginner and the professional because of its vast reserve of themes.

Headspace offers meditation and sleeping assistance with sounds as well. This app comes in with a free and paid version.

This app comes in with a free and paid version. Though there is a free version, you can get more out of the app with its paid version.

6. Calm

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4.4/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

Calm is an app that covers short guided meditation sessions helping users with anxiety, forgiveness, gratitude, etc. Other than these short minutes a day meditations, other programs within the app help users gain peace of mind.

The app also features the Basketball legend, Lebron James, with his course on mental fitness. Other than Lebron James, the app has masterclasses by other world-renowned experts as well.

Calm is a free app with in-app purchases

7. Pzizz

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3.8/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

Sleeping Analysis apps are getting more and more common in the current age to track your sleep. It is mostly because of people having difficulty maintaining a proper sleeping cycle.

For help with sleep deprivation, this app is a great alternative to start sleeping right. Pzizz comes with a timer for your optimized sleeping duration. The app plays a range of dreamscape sounds to put you to deep sleep.

It also has an alarm clock to wake you up.

The app comes with a 7-day free trial followed by additional cost for more features and sounds.

8. Slumber

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4.7/5 stars in Apple App Store

This app offers a range of features to put you into sleep at ease. Other than calming sounds, the app uses other features as well. It uses meditation techniques and storytelling to transform your lightest sleep to deep sleep.

You can select a range of sounds from a warm Jacuzzi to the rain or ocean. New stories and meditation sessions are introduced each week at a cost.

The app comes in both free and paid versions.

9. Couch to 5K

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4.4/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

It is a runner app that aims at making its users run 0km to 5km in 9 weeks. This app is mainly catered to the beginner runners to help them stay fit.

The app takes into account the realistic capability of being a beginner runner and designs its program gradually. With every level, the app helps the runner gain endurance and pace.

10. Runkeeper

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4.4/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.8/5 stars in Apple App Store

Runkeeper is a hit among runners for many reasons. The most prolific of these is the ability of the app to measure and monitor aspects.

The app keeps track of your running, cycling, hiking and other distance infused activities with ease and precision. The users can track pace, distance covered, the total amount of exercise time, calories burnt, etc.

With Runkeeper, you can also track your workouts and track your progress along with workout history.

11. Fooducate

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4.4/5 stars in Google Play Store
4.7/5 stars in Apple App Store

It is a nutrition app that covers and compares up to 250,000 ingredients. It has an easy to use interface that helps compare food and find out what's best for you.

The app can track food intake, exercises, etc. Besides these, there is also a community to interact with, which motivates users to achieve their goals.

This app has both free and paid versions available.

12. 7 Cups

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3.5/5 stars in Google Play Store
3.6/5 stars in Apple App Store

7 Cups is an ideal mental health platform if you just want to talk with someone. The application comes with anonymous texting from users to trained volunteers of the system.

These volunteers are called "active listeners," which the user can choose based on their bio. The users can base their decision on the volunteer's expertise, experiences, lifestyle, etc.

7 Cups also facilitates virtual groups with which users can share experiences and attain mental health through communication.

13. Vantage Fit

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4.4/5 in Google Play Store
5/5 in Apple App Store

As mentioned above, Vantage Fit is a holistic employee wellness app by Vantage Circle. It has a host of different features, making it one of the top options in the market. This app is also a free app for upto 100 users.

These are some of the free employee wellness apps in the market today.

Now, let's bring this towards an end with our last section of common queries for employee wellness apps.

F.A.Q (Frequently Asked Questions) about Employee Wellness Apps

1. Do these apps work for a diverse crowd?

Answer: Yes. It is because most of these apps come with customizable features. This aspect helps cater to individual needs and goals. In this regard, employers as customers must do their research as well.

The wellness app you buy must be customizable as per your requirements.

2. Do workers use these apps?

Answer: This depends upon many factors of the wellness app you chose to use. The apps must be user friendly, have a good UI/UX, have an innovative approach, etc. If your wellness app of choice ticks all these boxes, then surely your Workforce will use it.

3. Will the apps motivate and engage the Workforce?

Answer: The answer to this question comes down to how they get recognition in the app. This is why you need to have rewards and incentives in an app. It proves as a great motivator to encourage workers towards a healthy life.

So, the app needs to have a proper rewards mechanism to motivate and engage a workforce.

4. Do these apps help in the upkeep of corporate health support systems?

Answer: Yes. Wellness apps are a great source of engagement and will help you maintain your corporate health system.

5. Are these apps free?

Answer: Some of them do come free, but all of them have their criteria. For example, Vantage Fit is free upto 100 users. This free quota can depend on various other factors like time-trial, users, etc.

6. Do wellness apps come with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act) compliance?

Answer: Not all of them. Some wellness apps do not need HIPAA compliance. Apps need to have HIPAA compliance when they share your information with other parties. Since this is not the case with all wellness apps, this is not a necessity.

These were some of the FAQs regarding employee wellness apps.

Conclusion

The era of digitalization has made life more comfortable in a lot of ways. Of these many ways, health is undoubtedly one of the main areas. Today, employee wellness apps are one of the best contributions of the digital era towards health.

We hope you can utilize this gift to the best of your abilities!

This article is written by Jyoti Prakash Barman. He is an in-house Content Marketer at Vantage Fit with interests in music and automobiles. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

Keep your employees fit and productive