Fitbit and Nest cash in on the lucrative employee wellness market

According to one of the most recent studies on the market, 1 in 10 Americans over 18 years old now owns a fitness tracker of some description. These devices are no longer just for our own personal use, however — a growing number of trackers are being used in corporate wellness programs to enable employers to keep tabs on the health of their teams. In a fresh report from Forbes, CEO James Park says business sales represent “one of the fastest-growing parts of Fitbit’s business,” and it’s not just Fitbit cashing in. 

Last year Karl Dalal walked more than 1.5 million steps around Houston, each step tracked by the Fitbit Zip that was clipped to his clothes. “I wear it religiously,” he says. “And so does my wife.” A big reason he cared enough to keep it on was that someone else was tracking those steps, too: his employer, BP BP +1.01%. All that walking helped Dalal, 51, opt for a lower health care premium from the self-insured oil giant. The corporate wellness program that he also oversees just brought BP America’s health care costs below the U.S. average growth rate of 6%. Around 14,000 other employees, 6,000 spouses and 4,000 retirees got free Fitbits like Dalal in 2013, and this year a few thousand more have signed up for his program.

Read full article