It turns out that getting an Apple Watch at a discounted price is a great way to motivate people to be more active, according to the results of a new study.
The study, conducted by the RAND Corporation on behalf of multi-national insurance group Discovery, took a look at whether incentives could improve people’s activity levels throughout their daily lives.
Specifically, the study monitored 400,000 participants across the United States, Europe and South Africa. There were two types of incentive programs offered to participants: Vitality Active Rewards and Vitality Active Rewards with Apple Watch.
Essentially, users who opted for the latter program could get a discount on an Apple Watch. But how large of a discount they got was dependent on how much physical activity they did.
After paying a small upfront fee for an Apple Watch, participants would pay a monthly fee to keep their watch. But if they passed a certain activity level threshold, they didn’t have to pay any fee at all.
What they found bodes well for insurance firms and consumers alike.
- Participants who had an Apple Watch increased their number of active days by around 31 percent.
- What the study calls “high-intensity” active days was also increased by 52 percent.
- The most inactive participants increased their physical activity by an astounding 200 percent!
But it’s not just the number of days that users were active on that increased.
RAND also found that there was an increase in the intensity of activities performed and that any positive associations persisted over time.
Discovery’s Vitality insurance isn’t the only firm looking at Apple Watches as a way to incentivize users to stay active and healthy.
UnitedHealthcare and John Hancock have also rolled out similar promotional programs centered around the Apple wearable. Last year, Aetna was reported to be considering a similar program for its own customers.
Even if you’re not getting it for free, an Apple Watch may be a great investment toward your health. In addition to fitness tracking and motivation, Apple’s flagship wearable has also been shown to save lives.
The Apple Watch Series 4 takes this up a notch by adding the first FDA-cleared ECG to be installed on a consumer-facing device.