- October 6, 2022
- Posted by: NLombardi
- Category: Uncategorized
Can you imagine trying to run a race without a clock, play a NFL Game without a scoreboard or lose weight without a scale? One of the proven, but often underutilized strategies for evidence-based corporate wellness programs, is incorporating biofeedback utilizing wearable devices. Specific types of biofeedback such as using Heart Rate Variability, have been proven in numerous employer studies to provide improvement in mental and physical health, create sustainable lifestyle changes, and provide improved financial claims and productivity outcomes when combined with a trained coach.1
Biofeedback is a process that allows people to alter their physiological status to improve health and/or performance.2 It typically utilizes hearing and/or visual feedback to help individuals recognize physical signs within their body, including increased muscle tension, heart rate, or changes in body temperature. Through the use of a wearable device or mobile app, the individual learns how to control their physiological responses to stress and can then relax their body and their minds. These positive changes often have downstream effects on blood pressure, heart rate(speed and variability), muscle tension, and pain.
Types of Biofeedback
Since biofeedback is considered training rather than a treatment, it can be used to help people change and develop new lifestyle management skills. This is a proven and important opportunity to work with a health coach4. To be successful, employees must play an active role during the training and learn to practice on their own.
As an example, during a HeartMath session, a proven system to monitor Heart Rate Variability, a trained HeartMath coach works with their client to develop skills that enable the employee to anticipate and mitigate stress before it impacts their health. The training offered by HeartMath is important to support the use of biofeedback in an effective coaching program. Depending on the credentials and objectives the training can be 16 to 32 hours.