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Many companies interested in improving profitability and employee retention are focusing on workplace wellness. Why? Because improved health and wellness leads to increased productivity, better employee focus and company health care savings.

Regardless of whether or not your company has an official wellness program, you can still take steps toward healthier habits during your workday. And for today’s mobile culture, apps are a natural tool for getting there.

But with more than 165,000 mobile health apps on the market, how do you choose which wellness apps to use? Which apps are going to increase employee wellness and wellness program participation? We’ve asked ourselves the same questions and have come up with 7 wellness apps we believe are the ticket to encouraging employee wellness throughout the workday.

Keas is a health management platform for enterprises that enables employees to set custom wellness goals and objectives, track their activity and fitness levels, and improve mental sharpness by playing mind-stimulating games and taking quizzes. It keeps employees socializing about their health and wellness efforts in and out of the office, letting them share photos, exercise tips, healthy recipes and more.

The average worker sits for about 10 hours a day, which includes time in front of the computer at work and time on the couch watching TV at home. Most of us know we should be more active, but haven’t found the right way to stay motivated. Endomondo is meant to help motivate by tracking your workouts, providing audio feedback and offering guidance on how to reach your goals. It also helps you connect with other health-conscious friends, for additional motivation.

If you’re looking to get employees away from their desks more often, check out Hotseat. This wellness app creates friendly competition around the office. Employees organize challenges, along with the challenge start date and team, and then the last man (or woman) standing is the challenge winner. Hotseat also sends reminders to encourage users to take two-minute activity breaks. And it integrates with iCal, so the reminders are sent based on that user’s specific schedule.

This one’s an oldie but still a goodie. MyFitnessPal continues to be ranked one of the best fitness apps. It features a free and easy-to-use calorie counter that lets users quickly track their meals, snacks and coffee (and other drinks) intake throughout the day using a database that holds more than 5 million different types of foods. Being able to easily track what you eat throughout the day can help you better balance calorie intake and reach your weight loss goals.

Wellness doesn’t just mean going to the gym and watching what you eat. The brain needs exercise, too. And although we certainly hope you’re using your brain during the workday, there are probably still some certain skill sets where you’d like to improve. Elevate is a “cognitive training app” offering 35-plus activities to help improve pronunciation, name recall, comprehension, precision, focus, etc. This personalized brain training happens in a game-like format to make exercising your brain fun.

Meditation Studio
Research has shown that meditation can help reduce anxiety and improve concentration, among other benefits. This app offers more than 200 guided meditations featuring 27 leading meditation experts to help you destress, sleep better and boost your confidence – whether you’re at your desk, in between meetings, or on a plane flying to meet a client.

Power Nap App
This idea may come out of left field, but if you haven’t already, consider adding nap rooms to your office. Most of us don’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep we’re supposed to have each night, so if you allow employees to take a power nap, you’ll see a boost in energy, productivity and creativity. The Power Nap App lets users set a timer for up to 30 minutes, provides relaxing sounds to fall asleep to (rain, beach, etc.) and has various alarm sounds that are actually pleasant to wake up to (piano, birds, etc.). Encourage power naps with the use of this user-friendly app to give employees mental rejuvenation so they feel fresh and alert throughout their workday.

Every one of us makes health and wellness choices everywhere we go, and the workplace is no exception. By pairing work wellness programs with the right wellness apps, you can increase participation in your program while leading your office to better health. And healthier employees leads to a healthier bottom line.

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