John Hancock and Vitality prove Apple Watch incentives boost physical activity rates by more than 30 percent

New global research1 released today by Vitality, a leading behavior change platform, reveals that financial incentives combined with wearables encourage people to significantly increase their physical activity. It’s a finding consistent with the John Hancock Vitality Apple Watch user experience, and further confirms the company’s recent decision to help all customers live longer, healthier lives by including Vitality on every life insurance policy it sells. With the John Hancock Vitality program, customers have the option to earn rewards and potential premium savings through physical activity, better nutrition, mindfulness and preventative screenings.

The RAND Europe study of over 400,000 people in the U.S., U.K. and South Africa, the world’s largest behavior tech study based on verified data, concluded that those who wore an Apple Watch and participated in the Vitality Active Rewards benefit program averaged a 34 percent sustained increase in physical activity compared to participants without an Apple Watch. That’s the equivalent of 4.8 extra days of activity per month.

In the U.S., the RAND study results revealed significant improvements in levels of physical activity:

• The number of active days increased by almost 31 percent

• Participants who had the highest level of inactivity and body mass index levels improved more than other groups, increasing physical activity by 200 percent in the U.S

• High-intensity activity days increased by 52 percent

In addition, the study found that positive associations between Vitality with the Apple Watch benefit and physical activity persists over time.

Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) in Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band (40mm left, 44mm right)
Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) in Stainless Steel Case with White Sport Band (40mm left, 44mm right)

John Hancock Joins Global Pledge with Aggressive Goal

John Hancock and parent company Manulife fundamentally believe insurers should help customers live healthier and have signed a global pledge with Vitality to help make 100 million people 20 percent more active by 2025.

“The RAND research proves the experience of our customers to date will have long-term impact – people can successfully take small, everyday steps to improve their overall health and a life insurance company can help them in that journey,” said Marianne Harrison, CEO of John Hancock, in a statement. “We’re fully committed to this premise, and our pledge today will further reinforce our bold commitment to give people the tools they need to live longer, healthier lives.”

Harrison, along with Manulife President and CEO Roy Gori and Manulife Canada President and CEO Mike Doughty, acted as signators in the pledge. Manulife recently announced it will give millions of group benefits employees access to the Manulife Vitality platform, starting this spring.

Apple Watch Series 4 Now Available for John Hancock Life Insurance Customers

John Hancock is also announcing today that policyholders can receive the new Apple Watch Series 4 for as little as $25 through regular exercise. The newest version of the watch can detect hard falls and features an electrical heart rate sensor that can also take an electrocardiogram.

“There is natural alignment between consumer health and longevity, and our goals as a life insurer. This type of shared value is good for everybody,” added Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance, in a statement. “The Apple Watch has been an extremely popular and effective component of our program to date, helping our customers not only live healthier lives through better exercise and mindfulness habits – but also improve their financial wellness through the rewards our program offers, including lower premiums and discounts from some of their favorite national retailers.”

In 2016, the company first introduced customers to the opportunity to earn an Apple Watch (for an initial $25 fee) to support their physical activity goals and earn points that reduce or eliminate their monthly payments for their watch over a two-year period. Last year, John Hancock expanded the offering to include the Apple Watch Series 3. Today’s announcement furthers John Hancock’s commitment to motivate customers to protect both their financial future and stay active and healthy.

For more information about John Hancock Vitality visit:

Source: John Hancock

MacDailyNews Take: Success!

As we wrote in September 2015:

Those who want to sit around, munching chips, while encasing themselves in growing rolls of fat should pay more for the costs brought on by their heart attacks, gout, diabetes, strokes, asthma, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer treatments.

Next we need a way for Apple Watch to detect smokers and charge them more, too. People who make the effort to be healthy, regardless of whether they actually are lucky enough to be healthy or not*, should pay less for their health insurance as they tax the system far less than those who are sedentary, obese and/or smoke. Just as life insurance costs more for those who live unhealthy lifestyles, their health insurance should cost more, too. (Life insurers should utilize Apple Watches in much the same way.)

*If a person is obese for reasons beyond a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, who is actively trying to be healthy as shown by their Apple Watch, but other conditions prevent fat loss (Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Syndrome X, medications, etc.) they should get a lower rate than those who are simply leading sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles. Most cases of obesity are due to sedentary lifestyles and consuming more calories than required, not medical conditions.

Furthermore, people should have every right to sit around eating chips and smoking until they drop dead (unfortunately, it’s rarely that clean; they often first tax the health system to a great degree by developing diabetes, cancers, banging off a couple of heart attacks, having a stroke here and there, etc. before they finally make their glorious exit) and insurance companies should have every right to charge them more since, overall, they cost far more to take care of due to their poor choice(s) which raises costs for those who are trying to take care of themselves and therefore cost the system far less.

If you’re fat because you sit around too much and take in more calories than you can possible burn off by sitting on your ass all day, you can either keep on as you’re doing and pay more to cover your increased costs or put down the chips, stand up and get moving! (You can thank us later by continuing to visit during the 10-20 extra years you’ll get by following our advice.)

Apple Watch with John Hancock Vitality Program

Life insurance with the John Hancock Vitality Program rewards you for the healthy activities you do every day. And now, you can earn Apple Watch Series 4 for an initial payment of just $25 plus tax when you become a John Hancock Vitality PLUS member. Simply exercise regularly to earn Vitality Points and see the cost of your Apple Watch go down. The more Vitality Points you earn, the less you’ll pay each month.

How the program works:

• Order your Apple Watch for an initial payment of $25.
• Walk, run, bike, swim or do any number of exercises you enjoy and earn Vitality Points that go toward your monthly watch payments.
• Earn 500 fitness-related Vitality Points per month over two years and you’ll pay no additional charges.

Life insurance companies are luring Apple Watch users with deals – November 16, 2018
John Hancock offers Apple Watch Series 3 for only $25 to all Vitality life insurance customers – October 23, 2017
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015
Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch: ‘My most personal review ever’ – June 16, 2015

1 Comment

  1. It’s disingenuous for John Hancock to say that you can get an Apple Watch for just $25, when their insurance policies that are eligible for this perk cost more than their other plans. At least that’s what I was told when I asked them about pricing in October.

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