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An unhealthy workforce is considered risky business, and employers aiming to tackle the issue by offering incentives to workers — discounts on health care premiums, for example — in exchange for wearing fitness tracking gadgets to boost vitality forgot about this one hole in the scheme: ingenuity.
As reported in the Huffington Post on Wednesday, workers are finding ways to logs those steps and track that movement by strapping the fitness tracker to their speedy little pet hedgehog; putting it in the dryer and letting it roll; and giving it to their rambunctious children to wear.
“The problem for employers? Making health a game of points means employees game the system right back, though they don’t all have hedgehogs,” the article states, citing data that 21% of large companies engage in such pay-for-exercise schemes aimed at improving health and reducing the number of doctor visits.
The Huffington Post itself didn’t have to go far for reportage on this phenomenon. The news company that awards its own employees for exercise gathered comments in its own newsroom: “One colleague said he would give his tracker to his kids on the playground if he was short on steps, or jiggle the tracker back and forth while he watched TV.”
And then there’s the dryer: “I put the tracker in the toe of a sock, tie the sock so it doesn’t fall out, and toss it in with my clothes on medium or low heat. A permanent press cycle is about 10,000 steps.”
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