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Self-tracking devices and sustainable employability.
Employees’ level of sustainable employability is influenced by their health. In our study we tested whether self-tracking devices – devices that provide the user with reliable and continuous feedback on one or more health domains – can be useful tools in order to increase employees’ health and, as a result, sustainable employability. Twelve employees of a small firm were provided with self-tracking devices used to measure physical activity, sleep patterns or stress-level. During three months they used the devices and were supervised by a coach. Before, during and after several types of data were gathered: questionnaires measuring quality of life (SF-12), interviews, logbooks and the devices’ data. The participants showed higher levels of functional status, wellbeing, physical and mental health after the project, they indicated higher levels of feelings of competence regarding healthy behaviour, and they could sum up examples of changed behaviour. The input of the coach was regarded valuable in setting proper goals, in relating the user’s specific goals to more abstract, ‘higher order’ goals and in providing social support when necessary. The results led to the conclusion that the use of self-tracking devices combined with supervision by a coach is a useful tool to promote sustainable employability.