A new behaviour change study by independent research institute, Rand Europe, has shown that Vitality incentives combined with the Apple Watch deliver dramatic and sustained improvements in physical activity levels.
Incentives and Physical Activity – the largest behaviour tech study based on verified data – found an average 34% increase in activity levels for participants using Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch, compared to those without these incentives.
This equates to nearly a week of extra activity per month (4.8 extra days of activity), which Vitality estimates translates into two extra years of life.
The study examined the behaviours of over 400,000 people in the United Kingdom, United States and South Africa.
“This landmark study contributes to a deeper understanding of how people can be incentivised to live fitter and healthier lives,” said Discovery CEO, Adrian Gore.
“The significance for individuals, the insurance industry and wider society is profound.”
The Rand Europe study examined the effect of Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch on participants’ long-term physical activity levels.
The programme makes use of a comprehensive behavioural science toolkit, encompassing short and long-term incentives such as loss aversion and pre-commitment.
Participants using Apple Watch saw an average 34% sustained increase in activity – 4.8 extra days of activity per month – across UK, US and South African participants.
Activity increased across the full spectrum of Vitality participants, regardless of health status, age or gender.
‘At-risk’ participants with a high Body Mass Index [BMI], although less likely to take up the benefit, showed greater improvements in activity than other groups, with increases in activity of 200% in the United States, 160% in the United Kingdom, and 109% in South Africa.
South Africa saw the largest increase in high-intensity activity days of 71%, followed by the US at 52%, and 37% in the UK.
With these sustained increases in activity, Vitality estimated that within a year, participants with Active Rewards with Apple Watch achieved numerous health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and cardiorespiratory fitness along with lowered healthcare costs.
“Apple Watch has become an essential part of many people’s lives, and these results are a tangible example of the way Apple Watch can help users take control of improving their health,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s CCO.
“Vitality and Rand’s results are an exciting indicator of how much more can be achieved.”