Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Drop the Snickers! Mobile Alerts Tell Office Workers When to Skip a Snack or Take a Hike

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.