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Target Corp. is turning to wearable technology in an effort to promote healthy habits among its employees.
The Minneapolis-based retailer announced on Wednesday that it plans to provide its 335,000 U.S. workers with free or discounted Fitbit activity and sleep tracking devices, and will host group activity challenges using Fitbit's corporate wellness platform.
According to a statement on the company's website, the Target stores with the highest average daily step counts logged between Oct. 15 and Nov. 15 will share in a $1 million prize, which will be donated to the local wellness nonprofit groups of their choice.
Target's Fitbit initiative represents one of the largest corporate group purchases of the popular wearable activity trackers to date, according to the company's statement.
The company also announced that its employees will now receive an additional 20% discount on fresh and frozen produce, healthy snacks and active wear.
Fitbit now HIPAA compliant
In a separate statement, San Francisco-based Fitbit Inc. announced on Wednesday that its corporate wellness platform “Fitbit Wellness” is now fully compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“By allowing a greater level of integration with HIPAA-covered entities, Fitbit Wellness can better serve our clients and partners, and their members and employees,” Amy McDonough, vice president and general manager of Fitbit Wellness, said in a statement issued Wednesday. “We are excited about this new initiative and believe it will allow Fitbit Wellness to serve a broader market and is another step forward in achieving Fitbit's goal of empowering users to lead healthier, more active lives.”
Online diet and fitness tracking devices and mobile applications are becoming increasingly prevalent in employers’ workplace wellness programs, as a growing volume of surveys and case studies link personalization and portability with greater employee engagement in managing their health.