Stuart Stone examines the increasing popularity of health gadgets


Amidst a wider fit tech boom, health gadgets and wellness programmes could catch on in a big way in British workplaces if employees were given more support from their bosses, online research reveals.

The compilation of over 1,000 pieces of YouGov data in the third annual State of the Nation study, part of AXA PPP’s Health Tech and You initiative undertaken jointly with the Design Museum and 2020 Health, revealed that the majority of the UK workforce would be open to having their health monitored with technology at work.

The 57% who agreed did so however on the condition that their employer would supply devices, with this figure increasing to 63% if employers were to offer a financial incentive for wearing it at work.

Head of Proactive Health at AXA PPP Healthcare Dr Chris Tomkins said: “The increased use of health tech within the workplace could so easily be a win-win for both employer and employee. For the first time it is possible to support an individual throughout their journey from better understanding of their health to actual improvement through smart digital platforms.”

However, as things stand only one in twenty British workers have been provided with wearable health tech by bosses.

Among the more surprising findings from the latest study is how open employees are to sharing their health data with their bosses to help improve overall fitness within their workplace. Data academics highlight that amidst an explosion of health tech ownership in the UK, most of the data generated isn’t being used as effectively as it could be by individuals.

Of those who said they’d be wiling to wear a fitness band at work, more than half (58%) responded that they would be comfortable sharing data if it benefitted their employer’s health and wellbeing programmes. 

Wearing health tech at work and sharing data with employers could help users make the most of the numbers they generate, and maximise health benefit.

Dr Tomkins said: “Of course some individuals are naturally concerned about how their data is used and employers are keen to have a clear separation between themselves and such personal data. Therefore, both employer and employee could benefit from them.”

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