ExerClock aims to help businesses fight ‘sitting disease’

Do you have a job where you sit at a desk all day?

Hartland-based physical therapist Cory Schneider recently launched the “ExerClock,” a new software application designed to help corporations address the health epidemic stemming from sedentary jobs.

“It’s troubling to me that approximately 70 percent of Americans spend at least six to eight hours a day sitting, mostly at work, which puts them at high risk for ‘sitting disease,’” said Schneider, who is also the owner of Case Management Specialists Inc. in Hartland. “It costs U.S. businesses more than $90 billion each year to treat diseases and conditions that stem from a lack of physical activity.”

Featuring a customizable dashboard, ExerClock reminds employees to exercise at work in short increments throughout the day. Micro-exercise videos range from beginner to advanced levels and may address problems such as lower back and neck pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, or just simply help employees to burn calories, increase circulation and metabolism, track fitness and diet, and reduce health care costs.

Businesses can purchase a corporate license for ExerClock, and employees then create their own account under the corporate user license. Corporations have access to an administrative dashboard that summarizes the activity, compliance and progress of the organization as a whole, which allows human resource departments to incentivize activity or support further wellness initiatives.

“Corporations are facing a huge dilemma as they need their professional employees to work, but the demands of being in the office and behind the computer are ultimately creating an unhealthy and less productive workforce that not only drives up health care spending for the individual and business, but can affect the individuals’ function and quality of life,” Schneider said.

A 2009 study published by the American College of Sports Medicine reported that those who were most sedentary had a 50 percent increased risk of an early death, regardless of their fitness level.

“This means that even those who exercise regularly outside of work will benefit from breaking up prolonged periods of sitting with ExerClock’s reminders and micro-exercises during their work day,” Schneider said.

Employees can schedule the timing of their exercise reminders, choose the video length (one to three minutes), the type of micro-exercise (yoga, lower back and neck, legs, core, carpal tunnel and more) and intensity (beginner, intermediate or advanced). They can also track their goals and progress in a customizable, personalized dashboard.

ExerClock can also be used to track nutrition and additional fitness activities, and it can be integrated with data from common fitness bands, such as Fitbit. For an additional fee, users can consult with registered dietitians and fitness experts for custom dietary and fitness plans.

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