As technology advances, there are increasing numbers of tech startups founded to improve your health. Recent studies have alarmed full-time workers of the dangers of sitting all day, eating processed foods and not getting enough sleep. With all of the health concerns to keep track of, why not let technology help you out? Here are 10 tech-infused healthy habits you can start today!
1) Get up more: Sitting all day is affecting our health. Silicon Valley big shots like Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey prefer walking meetings because, according to Nilofer Merchant’s TED talk, “sedentary lifestyles contribute 10 percent of the risk of breast and colon cancer, 6 percent of the risk of heart disease, and 7 percent of the risk of type 2 diabetes.” Need a helpful reminder to get up and walk around more? Wearable fitness trackers like Jawbone and FitBit are popular solutions. If you’re looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing that’s still functional, try Misfit Wearables.
2) Intake and outtake tracker: One of the simplest rules of a healthy lifestyle is consuming the right amount of calories per day. These easy to track little numbers reveal a lot about how our habits are affecting our health. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply trying to maintain your current figure, apps like MyFitnessPal and LoseIt track your input from calorie consumption and output from physical activity so you have a better idea of whether or not you’re overeating.
3) Philanthropy: Healthy habits don’t all have to focus on your body, some contribute happiness in your life. Generosity is a key to feeling mentally healthy, but what if you could incorporate exercise into your philanthropy? Charity Miles is an app that lets you do just that! For every mile you run, walk or cycle, they donate change to charities. This money adds up over time and makes your workouts feel more meaningful. Is your boss looking to incorporate more philanthropy into the workplace? Suggest a fitness fundraiser using Charity Miles!
4) Snack better: Do you often reach for chips over nuts? Candy over fruit? Snacking habits are the number one source of extraneous calories throughout the day. This isn’t to say you have to snack on the same, boring food every day. Having a hard time finding healthy, nutritious snacks? Try a subscription service like Naturebox for personal healthy snack delivery once a month. They deliver a variety of healthy food to your door and donate one meal to Feeding America for every box you buy. If your company is looking to offer healthy snacks in the office, blissmo break boxes are a great option for delivering boxes of healthy snacks to offices, with varying sizes for a variety of offices.
5) Ask a Doctor: Have you ever noticed that almost every dietary program and medication recommend you consulting a physician before use? Medical professionals have a deep well of health knowledge that can’t be beat. However, most of us don’t have the time to go to the doctor’s office that often, and that’s where HealthTap comes in. Ask for reputable medical advice instead of Googling your question and searching for a less-than-reliable answer. Find physicians in your area that are highly recommended and so much more. It’s a great app to have by your side if you’re looking to answer health-related questions quickly and easily.
6) Prep your food ahead of time: The best way to avoid unhealthy takeout and frozen meals loaded with preservatives is to prepare your own food. With the demands of a full time job, prioritizing meal planning is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a variety of apps that help you plan your grocery lists that are worth checking out. ShopWell will help you make the right choices at the grocery store according to your personal diet restrictions, whether you’re going for heart healthy or weight loss, this app gives food a score from 0-100 so you can make the best choices. Looking for nutritious food options? Fooducate grades foods from an A+ to D scale using a scientific algorithm that rates various nutritional qualities. When armed with this app in a grocery store, you can easily compare different brands of the same product in order to choose the best option. Last but not least, Zipongo, which offers healthy recipes and coupons that correspond with your grocery list.
7) Wellness Incentives: If you’re looking to encourage healthy behaviors, incentivize them! Individually you can use apps like Pact which create a community of pacts for living healthier. Whether it’s a gym pact, a veggie pact or a food logging pact, you earn money for reaching your goals and lose money for missing them. It will definitely incentivize healthy behaviors while discouraging unhealthy ones. If your company is looking for a wellness coordinator that incentivizes healthy behaviors, use Keas. Through competition, community and incentives, this wellness program incorporates technology and promises to reduce healthcare costs.
8) Reduce Stress & Get Organized: Stress can wreak havoc on your health and it’s hard to avoid in a fast-paced work place. Making time for meditation is one way to avoid it. Want to add a fun, tech factor to your relaxation? The online meditation timer from Equanimity Project, also available in the app store, lets you schedule and log your meditations to make sure you’re prioritizing relaxation throughout the day. Another way to reduce stress is to get organized. Try using apps like Evernote to make lists and create reminders so you’re never stressed out about forgetting something.
9) Encouragement from a community: If you were ever in team sports, you know how encouraging and enjoyable it can be to have a close-knit community all working towards the same goal. Spire tries to mimic that sports-style encouragement with their apps. With options for both individuals and companies, these apps provide support and recognition for a variety of tasks. Whether you’re looking for encouragement on your current work project, your fitness goals, or your side project, you can post 160 character status updates to mark achievements. Points can be redeemed for special deals or can be turned into donations to non-profits. If recognition is what you need to get healthy, this is a great option for you!
10) Sleep better: Sleep is one of the cornerstones of health that people pay the least amount of attention to. It’s more than getting the correct amount of sleep per night, but making sure that sleep is deep and effective. Sleep trackers can help make sure you don’t ruin your whole day’s productivity due to ineffective sleep. If you’ve got a wearable fitness tracker like the Fitbit, it has a sleep tracking function. However, if you prefer a sleep tracker that stays on your mattress rather than your wrist, try Beddit.
Ready to build a healthier, happier lifestyle? Don’t let the health disadvantages associated with full-time work discourage you. With a variety of tech by your side, you can create a customized plan to elevate your health and increase your happiness in the IT workplace.