incentaHEALTH Survey Finds Social Media, Mobile Phones Play Integral Role in Success of Wellness Programs
More than 70 Percent of Respondents Want Wellness Information and Tips Delivered On-the-Go
DENVER, March 6, 2012 – The results are in. Based on a recent survey of wellness program participants, health technology company incentaHEALTH has found that individuals are increasingly turning to mobile phones and social media sites to help make wellness easier for them.
Looking to gauge the role that social media plays in wellness programs, incentaHEALTH, which operates incentive-based wellness programs for employers and communities, surveyed over 2,000 employee participants in its wellness programs.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, social media networks strongly influence individual behavior. With social media becoming more and more a part of the average person’s everyday life, wellness programs that utilize these mediums can improve employee engagement and help participants get support, stay connected – and reach their weight loss goals.
For example, 80 percent of survey respondents are looking at text messages on a daily basis. incentaHEALTH is using this insight to set the direction for new communication tools that have been added to its program over the past 24 months. Whether it’s through text messages, email, Facebook, or Twitter – incentaHEALTH has employed a ‘push’ model of delivering wellness information and coaching – making it easier for employee participants to get the most out of their wellness program.
incentaHEALTH is an employee wellness program emphasizing lifestyle changes that lead to life-long healthy weight. Participants have access to an online fitness guide, daily email or SMS text message coaching, communication with a personal trainer, an online success journal, and visual progress reports that show photos of the individual as they lose weight and improve their health. Employee participants can earn cash rewards for both successful weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. incentaHEALTH blends the science of behavior change with wellness incentive technology to provide a solution for obesity and rising healthcare costs.
With more than 91 percent of respondents indicating that they are using Facebook, there is a great opportunity to utilize the social media site as a tool to help make wellness more fun and engaging. Facebook gives a window into people’s everyday lives, and the connected nature of the site can help spread a culture that focuses on healthy behavior and wellness within the workplace – thus increasing the likelihood of employee participant success. “Based on the patterns we’re seeing from the survey results over these past two years, we have added features like “Brag to Facebook” that let our customers share the details of their wellness progress to their closest friends,” commented Todd McGuire, co-founder and chief technology officer of incentaHEALTH. “We weren’t sure if people would really want to reveal things like their amount of weight loss and before and after photos, but they do. Anything that creates some social accountability is going to help people stay on track.”
“The survey results speak loud and clear – wellness programs need to reflect the modern day communication styles of the participants,” said McGuire. “Since one of the key principles of wellness is behavior change, it’s apparent that the social nature of products like Facebook can be harnessed to help people become more engaged in their wellness programs, and more successful as they try to improve their health.
incentaHEALTH is an innovative healthcare technology company based in Denver, Colo. incentaHEALTH’s fully outsourced, employee weight management program is designed to help organizations reduce their healthcare costs by offering incentives to employees for improving their health. This is achieved by helping employees manage their weight through the use of interactive email and text message coaching, workplace weigh-ins on private kiosks, and cash rewards for maintaining long term health improvements. For more information, visit www.incentahealth.com, or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter.