Employee wellness programs have become as much a fixture of corporate life as casual Friday and free coffee. In the employer-sponsored Health and Well-being survey from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), 95 percent of respondents said they offer a physical well-being program.

When a perk becomes commonplace, the greatest challenge is keeping employees excited enough about the program to stay invested in it. Some employers and their health plans now offer additional incentives to employees who commit to physical wellness. Those incentives include providing or subsidizing a wearable device that complements their wellness program. Some health plans even offer financial or other rewards for regular participation.

If you are implementing a wellness program, here is some actionable advice and guidance on how to choose wearable devices that support your goals.

Fitness Tracking Using Wearables

One large North American health insurer offers a wearable wellness program that enables plan participants to use activity trackers to record activities and earn daily monetary rewards by accomplishing goals such as walking at least 500 steps six times per day, taking at least 3,000 steps within 30 minutes, and taking at least 10,000 total steps during the day.

The program also features financial incentives that encourage participants to get and stay engaged. The program offers activity trackers such as the Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport at no additional charge, or users can choose from other preferred fitness trackers. The devices are customized, so participants can track their progress against the daily fitness goals.

Features to Look for in a Wearable Device

Employers who incorporate wearable devices in their programs can offer their employees guidance on which wearable devices to use. You can suggest they review their fitness goals and consider where and how they’ll use the device. They should consider their exercise locales and the physical activities they pursue. Do they mostly exercise indoors, or do they do a lot of trail running? What about swimming? If they engage in water sports or spend a lot of time outdoors, they should look for a device that is water- and dust-resistant and can track underwater activity well, like the Gear Fit2 Pro and Gear Sport.

Will they wear the device all day? Most people do, which makes aesthetics an important consideration. They might prefer a device that’s stylish and doesn’t call attention to itself in a work setting.

Safety and convenience are other concerns with fitness devices. If employees would rather not carry a phone when they exercise but wish to remain connected, they can choose a wearable device that also lets them answer or make phone calls. If they prefer exercising without headphones, they might also want a device with a speaker so they can still listen to music or other audio.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, most people are willing to embrace the tools and technology that will help them reach their goals — especially if the technology provides a little fun along the way. Participating in a corporate wellness program — particularly one that offers wearable devices and other health incentives — may provide the encouragement employees need to get moving in the right direction.

Looking for a wearable device to kickstart your physical well-being? Learn how Gear smartwatches offer the best in smart living, fitness and health.