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FIT TECH News

Gamified VR fitness scheme launches to improve employee health

By
Digital health company Sharecare has launched Get Active, a VR fitness programme to improve workers' health and fitness levels
An eight-week pilot tracking 250 Lennar Corporation employees showed an average increase of 118 minutes of physical activity in VR fitness per week
Members receive a Meta Quest 2 VR headset, an exercise guide and a three-month subscription to fitness app Supernatural (US and Canada only)
According to IHRSA, inactivity costs the US healthcare system US$84.7bn annually with every inactive worker costing the economy US$3,447 per year
While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations, Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation
Credit: Lennar Corporation
While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations
– Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation

Sharecare, a US-based digital health platform, has launched a corporate scheme called Get Active which aims to increase the exercise levels of employees through VR fitness games.

Sharecare ran an eight-week pilot in 2022 with property development company Lennar Corporation, which produced such positive results that the scheme is now being made available to all commercial clients.

The pilot divided 250 Lennar Corporation employees into two groups. The first comprised 60 high risk individuals, who considered themselves sedentary, as they took less than 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. The second cohort comprised 190 participants.

Findings so far – result data is still being crunched by clinicians – showed that group one had an engagement rate of 82 per cent (defined as actively recording exercise minutes each week) and averaged 280 per cent more exercise each week than before starting the scheme.

This broke down as 82 minutes per week of activity in VR, on average, and resulted in around 2.5 times more physical activity outside of VR than before the pilot.

The second group had an 88 per cent engagement rate and increased their exercise habits by an average of 103 minutes each week.

Overall, engaged users – across both groups – averaged 118 minutes of physical activity in VR per week.

Once enrolled into Get Active’s scheme, members receive a Meta Quest 2 VR headset, an exercise guide and a free three-month subscription to fitness app Supernatural (limited to the US and Canada). The minutes recorded by the headset while exercising are transferred to the Sharecare app and this data is used for tracking progress and employer reward programmes.

"We have a strong track record of investing in innovation, including VR, to improve our comprehensive wellbeing platform and the employee experience,” said William Janis, senior vice president of health advocacy at Sharecare. “We're excited to differentiate our whole health benefits offering on behalf of our partners and their populations with a unique and approachable programme that's fun and naturally engaging for employees of all fitness levels, while improving outcomes and reducing costs.”

Get Active is available to the company’s Sharecare+ members, which provides an app-centric holistic health programme to users. It includes lifestyle coaching, direct communication with health advisors, a personalised health profile and text and phone support. Those who aren’t part of Sharecare+ can get access to Get Active through a buy-up scheme.

The company says it actively recommends that the programme be undertaken by those who do “less than an hour of exercise each week and have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions: obesity, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, congestive heart failure and hypercholesterolemia”.

"While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations and feedback from our highest risk associates has been very positive,” said Dr Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation. “Sharecare has demonstrated its continued commitment to innovation and driving sustained employee engagement, and we are excited to expand Get Active to more Lennar associates this year."

The nature of VR fitness aligns with experts’ recommendations for short bursts of exercise to increase fitness levels and prevent the onset of disease.

A recent study from the Physiological Society showed that six minutes of high-intensity exercise could delay the onset of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

A report from Deloitte, Economic Health and Societal Wellbeing: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health and Fitness Sector, released by The Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA), with IHRSA, reported that inactivity costs the US healthcare system US$84.7bn annually with every inactive worker costing the economy US$3,447 per year.

In the UK, inactivity costs the NHS US$4.3bn a year and 43.8m working days are lost annually in absenteeism and presenteeism, at a cost of £13.6bn (US$16.5bn).

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that if US adults increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by just ten minutes each day, around 110,000 deaths a year could be prevented.

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FIT TECH News

Gamified VR fitness scheme launches to improve employee health

By
Digital health company Sharecare has launched Get Active, a VR fitness programme to improve workers' health and fitness levels
An eight-week pilot tracking 250 Lennar Corporation employees showed an average increase of 118 minutes of physical activity in VR fitness per week
Members receive a Meta Quest 2 VR headset, an exercise guide and a three-month subscription to fitness app Supernatural (US and Canada only)
According to IHRSA, inactivity costs the US healthcare system US$84.7bn annually with every inactive worker costing the economy US$3,447 per year
While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations, Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation
Credit: Lennar Corporation
While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations
– Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation

Sharecare, a US-based digital health platform, has launched a corporate scheme called Get Active which aims to increase the exercise levels of employees through VR fitness games.

Sharecare ran an eight-week pilot in 2022 with property development company Lennar Corporation, which produced such positive results that the scheme is now being made available to all commercial clients.

The pilot divided 250 Lennar Corporation employees into two groups. The first comprised 60 high risk individuals, who considered themselves sedentary, as they took less than 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. The second cohort comprised 190 participants.

Findings so far – result data is still being crunched by clinicians – showed that group one had an engagement rate of 82 per cent (defined as actively recording exercise minutes each week) and averaged 280 per cent more exercise each week than before starting the scheme.

This broke down as 82 minutes per week of activity in VR, on average, and resulted in around 2.5 times more physical activity outside of VR than before the pilot.

The second group had an 88 per cent engagement rate and increased their exercise habits by an average of 103 minutes each week.

Overall, engaged users – across both groups – averaged 118 minutes of physical activity in VR per week.

Once enrolled into Get Active’s scheme, members receive a Meta Quest 2 VR headset, an exercise guide and a free three-month subscription to fitness app Supernatural (limited to the US and Canada). The minutes recorded by the headset while exercising are transferred to the Sharecare app and this data is used for tracking progress and employer reward programmes.

"We have a strong track record of investing in innovation, including VR, to improve our comprehensive wellbeing platform and the employee experience,” said William Janis, senior vice president of health advocacy at Sharecare. “We're excited to differentiate our whole health benefits offering on behalf of our partners and their populations with a unique and approachable programme that's fun and naturally engaging for employees of all fitness levels, while improving outcomes and reducing costs.”

Get Active is available to the company’s Sharecare+ members, which provides an app-centric holistic health programme to users. It includes lifestyle coaching, direct communication with health advisors, a personalised health profile and text and phone support. Those who aren’t part of Sharecare+ can get access to Get Active through a buy-up scheme.

The company says it actively recommends that the programme be undertaken by those who do “less than an hour of exercise each week and have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions: obesity, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, congestive heart failure and hypercholesterolemia”.

"While I was optimistic going into this pilot, engagement across the board exceeded our expectations and feedback from our highest risk associates has been very positive,” said Dr Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation. “Sharecare has demonstrated its continued commitment to innovation and driving sustained employee engagement, and we are excited to expand Get Active to more Lennar associates this year."

The nature of VR fitness aligns with experts’ recommendations for short bursts of exercise to increase fitness levels and prevent the onset of disease.

A recent study from the Physiological Society showed that six minutes of high-intensity exercise could delay the onset of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

A report from Deloitte, Economic Health and Societal Wellbeing: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health and Fitness Sector, released by The Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA), with IHRSA, reported that inactivity costs the US healthcare system US$84.7bn annually with every inactive worker costing the economy US$3,447 per year.

In the UK, inactivity costs the NHS US$4.3bn a year and 43.8m working days are lost annually in absenteeism and presenteeism, at a cost of £13.6bn (US$16.5bn).

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that if US adults increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by just ten minutes each day, around 110,000 deaths a year could be prevented.

More fit tech news
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news • 09 Jul 2024
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news • 27 Jun 2024
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More fit tech news