0 July 2016 - Discovery Vitality today announced that it would be introducing more opportunities to earn fitness points, including new categories for heart rate workouts, from 20 August 2016. The update is designed to encourage people to exercise regularly in a safe way, taking into account feedback from members, while retaining the clinical integrity of the programme.
Vitality is a dynamic programme that incorporates behavioural economics principles and the latest health and wellness science to help people get heathier. “Periodic refinements are important to ensure the model stays up to date and motivates the right health behaviour,” said Discovery Vitality Chief Executive, Dr Shrey Viranna about the changes.
Updates to Vitality points earlier this year aimed to ensure that data recorded was both accurate and verifiable. Combined with this, categories for heart rate data were also more closely aligned to international and national guidelines to obtain the most benefits from physical activity. Within these guidelines, Discovery Vitality has reviewed processes to obtain and measure event, device and heart rate data in an attempt to address consumer concerns, and to ensure the right levels of continued participation in physical activity.
From 20 August, Vitality members will be able to earn fitness points in the following new ways:
- By taking part in any timed and verified race event locally or internationally in the disciplines of cycling, walking/running, swimming and major multisport events;
- The popular 50 points category for tracking 5 000 steps a day is being re-introduced for those just starting out;
- There will be a new heart rate points category for workouts between 60 - 69% and 70 - 79% of age-related maximum heart rate targets;
- Endurance and High Performance athletes can apply to be part of a new category to earn points for longer duration workouts;
- For all Vitality Active Rewards members (excluding those in the new Endurance and High Performance category), the weekly maximum goal will be lowered to 900 points (from 1 200). The weekly maximum goal will remain 600 points for at-risk members with certain chronic conditions, health concerns during pregnancy or members aged 65+ with risk factors.
The science of behaviour change, which is the basis of Vitality, is clear-cut, but the art of finding a balance between encouraging certain behaviour shifts while keeping members motivated and excited is less defined.
“Our goal is to encourage people to exercise in a way that maximises the health benefit. The more we do, the more we understand about the art of balancing desired shifts in behaviour with member sentiment and the more we can help people live healthier lives every day. Over time, we’re working to create a more personalised experience for all members who partner with us on their fitness journey, while applying our commitment to safe physical activity,” said Viranna.
Vitality Active Rewards is the first step in tailoring the way Vitality encourages members to keep active. It is Vitality’s most successful product to date, having demonstrated consistently positive shifts in health outcomes. The programme is innovative in the way it personalises incentives to encourage regular activity, taking into account participants’ exercise history and health risk factors. And the results speak for themselves. Overall, activity levels amongst Active Rewards participants have increased by 25%, with even more pronounced shifts amongst the least active Vitality members as well as those at high risk (i.e. smokers and members with a chronic illness). The significant increase in physical activity is consequently expected to result in improved mortality outcomes and better in-hospital experience for Active Rewards members.
“We have seen that members across all initial fitness levels are more physically active than they were before joining the programme, and we want to ensure that this is sustained,” Viranna said.
The introduction of a broader range of lower-intensity activities is designed to ensure Vitality members feel positively challenged and determined to get and stay active. “We are confident that these updates will get all of our members – those starting out and those highly engaged in physical activity – exercising more, and we hope they will help them stay motivated too,” Vitality Chief Executive Dr Shrey Viranna concluded.
About Discovery Limited
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.
The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has partnered with John Hancock in the US. These new partnerships will bring Discovery’s shared-value business model to protection industries in Europe and the US.
Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
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