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FitBit Data May Help Insurance Companies Reduce Your Premiums

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It’s all about perspective.

Ten percent can be a large or small amount, depending on the context of what it represents. If we’re talking about unemployment, 10% is unacceptable. If we’re talking about income tax, paying only 10% would be a blessing.

For today, we’re avoiding politics and the economy and instead, talking about the 10% of Americans who use wearable tech fitness trackers to monitor and track their daily activity, food intake, sleep, and exercise. This 10% of Americans make up a group of people that health insurance companies are examining closely to determine more accurate ways of calculating insurance premiums. On average, your premiums fluctuate once each year, which usually means added cost. That added cost doesn’t always have anything to do with you, and is often part of a re-rating of the group pool you’re a part of, like the company you work for.

The Only Fitness Tracker Review Guide You Need

What if your premium was calculated based on how you, as an individual, actually live? What if your premium fluctuated because of choices you make regarding your individual health and not because of others in your insurance pool dragging you down?
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Google Glass Lets You Run From Zombies with ‘Race Yourself’ Fitness App

For all you early adopters of wearable tech, or even those of you observing from the sidelines for now, startup ‘Race Yourself’ wants to bring a new layer to your daily exercise routine: augmented reality.

Their app is launching Spring 2014 and is specifically made for Google Glass. You can pre-order a bundle of 10 exercise games for $9.95 on their website, as well as two accessories to enhance your workout experience.

google glasses

The first is a Bluetooth heart rate monitor, which connects wirelessly to Google Glass. It sells for $39.95 and includes the same 10 exercise games. Since many of the games and activities include heart rate zones, it’d be a worthy investment to help you get the most out of your work out.


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Google Ranks Health on Page One for its Employees

Even if CNN and Fortune hadn’t repeatedly named Google as one of the best places to work, they would certainly top of a list of most envied places to work. From the outside looking in Googlers have some of the coolest jobs around, and they get to do it at a place called the Googleplex. We thought our office was cool, but come on! Google has segways, hammocks, and free food!

It’s fairly well known that amongst the many, many perks that Googlers enjoy is free food. At the Googleplex and satellite offices, the company keeps its hard working staff well fed. Sometimes too well, with bowls of M&Ms suspended from ceilings and unlimited passes at cafeteria buffets, it’s like a cruise you get paid to attend.

Recently, Google made some changes in an effort to make the environment even healthier for its employees. If they’re gaming for a healthiest places to work award too, they might win. Google recently revealed some of the changes they’re rolling out.

“We’ve used some things in some offices but haven’t implemented them across the board,” Katelin Todhunter-Gerberg told us, a senior public affairs associate for Google.
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Google and Twitter Employees are Striving to Unplug

Hastily responding to every cell phone beep, email alert ding and news feed notification bing are the familiar ways a lot of us spend our waking hours every day, whether we are at work, or worse, at home spending some down time with family.

“The speed at which information is coming at us can get overwhelming,” says Google’s Gopi Kallayil, a marketing manager for Google+. Kallayil, also a yoga teacher, says she sees more people in Silicon Valley, the heart of the high-tech industry, turning toward yoga and meditation as a way to find a centering reprieve from the stressful blitz of the fast-paced digital world.

With the physical and mental health of these computer-habituated people at risk, many high-tech industries have adopted wellness programs that go beyond a gym membership and a monthly massage. Recognizing the hyperactive tendencies of those caught in the whirlpool of tweets, status posts and microblogs, companies such as Google and Twitter have incorporated “urban-wellness” programs that include yoga and meditation specifically designed to allow people the time to unwind, unclutter, and most importantly, unplug.

“Twitter is really into this,” says Deborah Burkman, meditation teacher for Twitter. “There is a whole mindfulness program they’re trying to build there. Like a lot of companies, they’re concerned about the well-being of their employees and they’re big believers in trying to have people be consciously connected.”


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Google Maps Gives Cyclists Their Own Directions

Take that old Schwinn out of the garage and wipe off the dust. In addition to walking and driving directions, Google maps also has biking directions.

Many people prefer biking to work or school to help the environment, save money, or just enjoy nature. So due to popular demand, Google maps introduced biking directions in March 2010 so that cyclists could more efficiently map out bike trips. The bike directions allow a user to personalize their trips, find bike lanes, and avoid big hills and major traffic zones. Google maps provides a useful tool for those who want to stake out the best routes and get reacquainted with a heart healthy childhood pastime.

In order to find bike trails in your town, type in the city on Google maps. Once you have found the correct city and zoomed in, click “more” on the options at the top of the map. The drag down list includes a “bicycling” option. Once you have selected the bicycling feature, the city map will now include dark green lines which indicate a bike-only trail, light green lines which indicate a bike lane on a road, and dashed green lines which indicate a road is designated as preferred for cyclists but without the specific bike lane.


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