SentryOne (previously SQL Sentry) from Huntersville, North Carolina underwent the Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment for the third time this October, with 23 staff members taking part in 2013, 19 in 2014 and 16 this year. You can read about their previous experiences in more detail here. This year’s group included 11 men and 5 women, aged from the low 20s to mid-50s, from programmers to sales & marketing to management.
The project utilized a new Lifestyle Assessment model, in which the participants could order the measurement device to their house, with instructions, and return it to a US-based logistics center for data upload, after which the specialist conducting the project could access and analyze the data. This way the devices did not need to be shipped back and forth internationally, nor was there a need to have a person inside the company to handle the devices – the measurement process was easy for the participants and the project could be run from overseas. This model is being used extensively in Finland and Sweden, and is now also available in the UK and the US. After the measurements, an onsite meeting was held at SentryOne, with a group feedback session and personal face-to-face talks to discuss the reports and personal results.
SentryOne believes in encouraging employee well-being and fitness by offering various incentives, such as discounted gym memberships and weekly yoga classes. The employees can also arrange their work schedule flexibly to attend a gym class in the morning or at lunch time, making it easier to fit exercise into a busy lifestyle – and maybe avoid the worst rush hour traffic while doing it! Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment has been another way of giving the staff a chance to check their wellness status and get valuable personal insights and guidelines for better performance overall – at work and outside of work.
CEO Greg Gonzalez takes a strong interest in his personal fitness and well-being, as well as that of his staff: “I believe that an employee who is fit and feels good is also going to perform better at work, and we try to emphasize this even when the company grows and things get busy. The Firstbeat assessment is a good reminder of the importance of balancing the different parts of life. It provides a view into something that other wearables or monitors cannot do. I also find it interesting that Firstbeat’s big data shows that people who are fit handle stress better because our group has always been keen on fitness.” *
* Firstbeat database 2016, with over 150 000 measurements shows that the people who are physically active, when compared to those who are inactive, have a better overall balance between stress and recovery – and a larger percent of good recovery during sleep.
“Being fit helps us cope with the demands of life, making it easier for the body to manage stress and wind down. And we are not talking about athletes – just normal people who are physically active on a regular basis. As a company, SentryOne is doing a great job encouraging staff to take care of their fitness and overall well-being”, says Firstbeat Exercise Physiologist Tiina Hoffman, who has met with the SentryOne team each time to provide feedback about the results.
Despite the better-than-average exercise habits and opportunities (80% had at least a moderate result, with over 50% boasting a good result), many people in this year’s SentryOne group found sufficient sleep and recovery challenging. The new Project Summary report(**) verifies this: half the people feel that they don’t sleep enough and the measurement result shows that only 13% had good sleep time recovery (as an average of 3 days), with 73% showing moderate recovery. “In reality, a lot of people did have 1-2 good nights mixed in with a bad night, so the result is not as dramatic as the group average suggests, but still, it highlights the fact that good sleep is not a given, it’s something most people need to work on and learn more about”, Hoffman points out. The report also revealed that two of the three most popular goals set by the participants had to do with sleep (I will attempt to go to bed early enough and I will engage in activities that I find relaxing and help me to fall asleep.)
For more details about this year’s SentryOne project, with insights and reflections by the individual participants, read Tiina Hoffman’s new blog post here.
** The Project Summary draws together a group’s subjective experience of well-being, group-level results related to sleep, stress management and exercise, as well as the types of goals that people set and the feedback that they give about the project. The idea is to give concrete information to company management or HR for promoting staff well-being and identifying challenge areas for better wellness strategies.”