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A Fitness-Friendly Business

March 11, 2014, 6:14 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

A Fitness-Friendly Business

New research shows all that sitting could be bad for your health. That's why a Sioux Falls business is turning to technology to get its employees back on their feet.

It's not unusual for Carol Oren to spend almost eight hours sitting at her desk at ADwerks.

"I'm in my busy season right now, so I tend to work through lunch and eat my lunch at my desk," Oren said.

But research shows the more you sit, the higher your risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

"So I'm really being conscious with my activity, as well as the calories I'm intaking," Oren said.

To help his employees, the owner of ADwerks in Sioux Falls decided to buy everyone Fitbits. The high-tech device records how many steps they take and how many calories they burn each day. It's also possible to compare the results with friends and co-workers online.

"Just the little bit of camaraderie we've gotten and that competition that's built up between everybody has brought people closer together already," ADwerks Owner Jim Mathis said.

"You can encourage people or I've taunted people because they're not moving, as well," Oren said.

Each device costs around $100, but Mathis says it's a good investment.

"When you are healthy, you feel better. You work better. You don't get rundown during the day," Mathis said.

These Fitbits not only track your activity level, but also your sleeping patterns.

"When you look in the morning, it will tell you, you went to bed at 10:52 and you woke up at 6:25. During that amount of time, you were restless these number of times and awake these number of times," Mathis said.

By getting a good night’s sleep, Mathis also believes his employees will be more alert at work.

"I knew I was having trouble sleeping, but wasn't realizing how many times I'm either restless or awake through the night, so I'm trying to adjust my sleep patterns that way," Oren said.

Oren is also trying to get up from her desk a few more times every day and pack healthier snacks.

"I kind of struggle with my weight, so I'm hoping this gets me back to where I was," Oren said.

She believes her new device will help her reach these new goals.

Oren says the one catch is that if you wear the Fitbit on your wrist, it may not track all of your activity. For instance, you might want to put it around your ankle when you ride a bike or workout on an EFX machine.

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