Research shows shared-value insurance model combined with Apple Watch has led to 34% increase in physical activity
A behavioural change study, conducted by RAND Europe, showing the impact of wearable technology on physical activity, was unveiled in London today.
Described as the ‘largest behaviour tech study based on verified data', the Incentives and Physical Activity report estimated the behaviours of over 400,000 people in the UK, US and South Africa.
The study, which found activity levels for participants using Vitality Activity Rewards rose an average 34% compared to those without incentives, has compelled the insurance brand to commit to making 100m people 20% more active by 2025 as part of a pledge signed by Discovery CEO and Vitality founder, Adrian Gore and representatives of six Vitality partners including Generali and AIA.
"For more than 20 years, Vitality has taken a shared-value approach to health improvement by creating interventions that change people's behaviour for the better," said Adrian Gore at the event. "Our innovative use of Apple Watch opens the way to a proper understanding of how people can be incentivised to live fitter and healthier lives - and how we are leading the way in transforming how people are insured. That's why we have committed to helping even more people become active and are encouraged by the support of the World Health Organization as this aligns with their Global Action Plan on Physical Activity. We believe the impact will be substantial and far-reaching."
The study indicates that participants using Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch achieved nearly a week of extra activity per month (4.8 extra days of activity), which Vitality estimates translates into two extra years of life.
Other findings showed that activity increased over the full spectrum of Vitality participants, regardless of health status, age or gender, and ‘at-risk' participants with a high body mass index (BMI), while less likely to take up the benefit, showed greater improvements than other groups - 200% in the US, 160% in the UK and 109% in South Africa.
South Africa saw the largest increase in high-intensity activity (71%), followed by the US (52%) and the UK (37%).
"This landmark study contributes to a deeper understanding of how people can be incentivised to live fitter and healthier lives," said Gore. "The significance for individuals, the insurance industry and wider society is profound."
The Vitality Apple Watch event today was hosted by Natasha Kaplinksy and featured a speech and Q&A with Matt Hancock, secretary for health.
‘Without purpose, our industry lacks meaning’
A first for the panel
COVER receives top plaudit from industry body
New channels, specialist advisers and mortgage brokers
Travel insurer 'surprised'