Health Insurers are Using Competitions to Gamify Weight Loss

Health Insurers are Using Competitions to Gamify Weight Loss


Got the Competitive Edge? Gamify Weight Loss!

Many of us agree that the ultimate rewards for successful weight loss are looking great and feeling better. However, how many times have you lost sight of your goal because of the time and work it takes to get there? By using games in health, notably in weight loss, dieters are able to compete and reap rewards to encourage them to stick to their diet plans.

A recent article in AIS Health describes how health insurers are getting involved to keep dieters on track. United Health, Aetna, and Humana have developed competitions for dieters to encourage participation.

UnitedHealth Group is a perfect example of how gamification in weight loss can keep dieters on track. They created a game called JOIN for adults and children that utilizes the Xbox Kinect. The game uses an on screen character and the player must run in real life to get the character to move. The company also created an app called OptumizeMe where users create challenges to one another with fitness competitions. Their progress is tracked and rewards in the form of virtual badges are given.

Humana is also using the Xbox Kinect in weight loss gamification. In a partnership with game developer, Ubisoft, members earn Vitality Points for exercising with fitness games. The points can be redeemed for movie tickets, electronics, and vacations.

Aetna also launched a program called Get Active! that uses social networking to encourage team members to work together to achieve their health goals. In using this program, employees who participated realized a reduction of 7.8 points in their body mass index compared to those who were not in the program.

These insurers proved how gamification can be used to motivate people to make and maintain health goals. With the right approach, gaming can be the key to helping us all get on the right track to health and well-being. In fact, check out this post by Jon Guerrera, for an in-depth guide on how to gamify your goals beyond the competition itself.

Image by Qsimple 


Need help with behavioral science and gamification? Get in touch with our boutique consulting agency Dopamine.