In The Future, You'll Receive An Electric Shock Before Competing In An Office-Wide Food Eating Challenge

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On the seventh floor of a concrete office building in Washington, a government worker stops to contemplate a purchase from the vending machine. Then his phone vibrates. An alert on the screen suggests he pass on the Twinkies today. This guinea pig, among a group of employees at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, may be experiencing the office of the future. The department ran an experiment this summer to see whether new technology could get workers to form better health habits. The Health Department used wireless gizmos situated around the office that transmit signals to employees' mobile devices as they pass by. An app running on their smartphones interprets the data and delivers advice based on where they are. Employees who get up from a conference-room table might get an alert telling them to take the long way back to their desks. Walking past a water fountain five times prompts a suggestion that it's time to stop for a drink during the next go-around. [Bloomberg, related]

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