For the past few years my employer has offered an amazing wellness program through Vitality. Unfortunately in February my employer announced that they will no longer be offering this program after 3/31/17 because participation has been too low. First of all, I am incredibly bummed that they are no longer going to be offering this benefit, and secondly, why were people not enrolled?! This program was AMAZING!
For those of you who do not know what this program is, let me explain. And no, I am not in any way sponsored by Vitality, I truly just loved the program. Vitality is a wellness program that provides incentives to improve your health and life but it is only offered through your employer so you can’t just sign up on your own. Now for how the program works, once you enroll you enter some of the basics about your health by completing a Vitality Health Review. You complete a brief questionnaire about your activities, habits, nutrition, lifestyle, mental well-being, and work and home life. Completing this review earns you 500 points, and earning point are what makes this program great (more on that to come). There are a few reviews to completed and the total for all of the different reviews is 1050 points. You can then go on to the online education materials where there are nutrition courses, monthly webcasts, and interactive tools, all which offer you some points for completing them.
You can go to their Points Planner to figure of all of the other ways to earn points, other than the reviews and education elements. As I am a fitness fanatic, I linked up my FitBit and my MapMyRun app so that any time I exercised I earn points (5-15 available per day). I also submitted race results for anytime I ran a Spartan race or ran a 5k. Athletic events earn anywhere from 250 – 500 points depending on the length and complexity of event (a 5k is 250 points but an obstacle course race is usually 500). If you are part of a sports league you can get points for that too. This category has a max of 7000 point per plan year which I just hit in January (our plan year ran from 4/1-3/31).
Getting checked out by your doctor also has big potential for points. You get points for not only getting your biometric screenings (BMI, blood pressure, fasting glucose and cholesterol) but you also get points if they are within the healthy range (1000 points for a health BMI for example). I am thankfully healthy and earned the max points in all 4 areas. Flu shots, dental screenings or any other health screenings can also earn 400 points each per year.
There are other little ways to earn points such as linking up your grocery rewards cards for up to 50 points per month, setting weekly goals worth 30 points for each check-in, or playing their little Vitality Squares game once per month where you can earn some additional points.
But What Does it Get You?
Now for the great part, what happens to all those points?? This is the part that I LOVE! These points are worth actual money! You can get gift cards from Amazon, Whole Foods, iTunes or Nike. Or you can use points to get things like a Fitbit or Garmin or other tracking device directly through the website. Personally, I always redeemed my points for Amazon gift cards. I was able to login and see the history back to January of 2015 to see how much I have earned since starting the program a few years ago and here are the grand totals:
Um, WOW!! I earned $1,040 for basically tracking my healthy habits.
(I actually started the program in 2014 so I think some of the 2015 amounts were from the 2014 program).
I knew I had been earning quite a bit over the past year years but this truly is amazing! Now mind you I really try to maximize as much as I can from the program so my results may not be the average but it really makes me wonder why someone wouldn’t want to sign up for the program. I mean, this is real money people! Yes, it takes a little time to get everything set up and submitting points, etc. but man is it worth it! In addition to the Amazon dollars I also earned periodic iTunes gift cards or $5 to Starbucks which I usually gave to one of my friends. I know I am going to miss this program and having Amazing dollars there for whenever I need something online but since this is offered only through employers there is not much I can do about it. Does anyone else have any great health/wellness programs that have worked well for them?