Recent research from Gallup not only indicates the popularity of mobile device-based health apps is accelerating, but also dissects which types of apps are linked to specific types of well-being.

"Some types of apps are more closely related to high well-being outcomes than others,” say Gallup researchers Dan Witters and Sanjeeta Agrawal. "While use of running map apps and apps for healthy restaurant menu options are mutually highly linked to both social and physical well-being, other apps are more uniquely aligned. Apps for water intake and healthy recipes are strongly linked to social well-being benefits, while running maps and personal training apps are strongly associated with physical well-being."

Witters and Agrawal suggest that those responsible for employees' health should begin implementing strategies to help augment wellness by adopting practices such as assigning "app champions" at company locations, leading by example—adopting, using, and demonstrating personal use of health apps—and implementing "app of the month" programs.

The researchers say the trend capitalizes on the 19 percent of Americans who have downloaded and routinely use at least one such health/well-being app. The most common type of health app, downloaded by 18 percent of users, is a calorie-counting app. Healthy recipes and food/exercise diaries come in next at 8 percent apiece.

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