Corporate wellness is all the rage now, with companies all over the world spending more time and money on wellness initiatives than ever before. Companies are offering Yoga classes, on-site chair massages, health fairs, social support groups, and access to wellness apps. And with the recent shift towards at-home work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, wellness is at the top of everyone’s minds. Virtual wellness programs and summits are more robust than they’ve ever been.
But as wellness initiatives become more nuanced (and expensive), one thing that remains challenging is measurability. How do we determine the efficacy of one wellness program over another? More importantly, how do we measure a program’s overall effect on employee health? This is where self-quantification comes in.
What is Self-Quantification?
Self-quantification simply means that we can track certain biological markers that give us a reliable indication of how we are doing in different aspects of whole-body health.
Quantifying Employee Health
For example, if I wanted to get a better understanding of my cardiovascular and respiratory health, I would measure my VO2 max to and compare that to the average score for adults in my age range (18-25). We know that a “good” score is between 52-60 ml/kg/min and anything above that is considered “excellent”. Let’s say my score is 50 right now. My organization could provide quarterly re-testing, and give incentives if I’m able to bring my score into the “good” or “excellent” range. Similar incentives could be offered for HRV and sleep scores.
That’s all fine and well to get people to exercise, but what about nutrition? This is where self-quantification really shines. We can employ DNA tests, macronutrient and micronutrient profiles, blood lipid panels, gut microbiome tests, and metabolic analysis to make dietary recommendations for the individual employee. That last bit can’t be overstated, because contrary to what you might read on the internet, there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Foods that are healthy for one person might create inflammation for someone else. This alone can completely change the game for some people. They no longer find themselves bouncing back and forth between fad diets. They know exactly what will be best for them.
Quantifying Employee Performance
Self-quantification also applies to cognitive health and performance. Using neurofeedback technology, we can quantify and improve markers of stress, focus, and emotional regulation. As technology progresses, we’ll also be able to more accurately measure stress levels using cortisol-sensing wearable technology.
You Can't Improve What You Don't Measure
Think of it this way: if you want to launch a new marketing campaign, you need to know what metrics you’re targeting. You want to be aware of how your marketing decisions affect engagement, lead generation, click-through-rate, and above all, revenue. In the age of self-quantification, it becomes not only possible, but necessary, to approach corporate wellness in the same way, because numbers don't lie.
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