Your organization doesn’t need a big wellness budget to offer employees tools that encourage healthy living. A wide range of free or inexpensive mobile apps can help employees track physical activities, monitor health and encourage good eating. Here is a sampling:
Hotseat allows employees to select a series of fun two-minute activity breaks at or away from their desks. The free app schedules breaks according to an employee’s daily calendar and sends reminders. Users can create teams and schedule activities and “competitions” with other employees. Check it out at www.gethotseatapp.com.
FitOrbit provides online certified trainers to create weekly fitness plans to use in the gym or home. Services include chats with trainers via email, instructional videos, customized grocery lists and menus. Cost: $11.50 a week for six months or $30 a week for one month. Go to www.fitorbit.com.
FatSecret is a free weight loss and exercise app. Tools include a calorie counter, food and exercise diaries, barcode scanner for nutrition labels, weight chart and journal to track progress. Go to www.fatsecret.com.
Lose It includes a weight-loss plan, meal plans, daily calorie budget, recipes and exercises. The premium version, at $40 a year, also monitors biometric measurements such as body fat and creates fitness challenges. Go to www.loseit.com.
Couch to 5k trains people to run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The free app provides an eight-week, three-days-a-week program that plots running pace, intervals, distance and rate while recording results. The level of difficulty increases automatically. Five-minute warm-up and cool-down programs are included. Go to www.c25k.com.
To find more helpful apps, check out Apple’s App Store list of the best new health and fitness apps for 2014.