The pilot program saw an 82% engagement rate and a 280% boost in average weekly exercise time.
Sharecare, a digital health company that helps people unify and manage their health, is launching a new health program called Get Active, which uses VR technology to help employers motivate their workforce to get active.
The pilot program with Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, features a variety of VR games and socialVR experiences designed to motivate participants to reach their personal health goals, according to an official release. These activities are accessible via Meta Quest 2 VR headsets, which are distributed to participants as part of the program.
“Sharecare has demonstrated its continued commitment to innovation and driving sustained employee engagement, and we are excited to expand Get Active to more Lennar Associates this year,” said Dr. Pascal Goldschmidt, chief medical officer of Lennar Corporation.
It’s no secret that getting active can help lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It can also improve your sleep quality and reduce anxiety. According to the CDC, over one in three Americans have prediabetes, and over 80% of these are unaware they have it. Daily exercise routines can help reverse these conditions.
The CDC also states that if people in the US increased their physical activity by just 10 minutes per day, they could prevent around 110,000 deaths annually. Blue Cross Blue Shield claims that members who regularly exercised saw lower healthcare costs, which totaled around $4,438 less over four years.
In a report published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, researchers found that participants in the VR group reported significantly lower pain, and were able to work out longer compared to the non-VR group. They also had a lower heart rate at three fewer beats per minute playing games like Fruit Ninja and Beat Saber.
Despite the increasing number of non-VR initiatives aimed at increasing the usage of well-being offerings, many of them fail to sustain long-term engagement. The Get Active program from Sharecare gamifies physical fitness through fun VR games where employees “exercise by accident.” According to the company, the pilot program with Lennar led to an 82% engagement rate and a 280% boost in average weekly exercise time.
Employees think they’re playing VR games at work and at home when in actuality they’re performing heart-pumping exercises from both seated and standing positions. At least, that’s the idea.
Another benefit of using VR technology to work out is the additional comfort and convenience. The gym can be an intimidating space for many people, especially those new to fitness. The Get Active program eliminates barriers for people who are disabled, prefer in-home workouts, or are uncomfortable with public facilities.
In a pilot program conducted in 2022, Sharecare’s Get Active program reportedly improved the health of its participants at high risk of developing conditions, such as diabetes, depression, and anxiety.
In response to the success of the pilot program, Lennar is now introducing the Get Active core offering to its eligible associates in 2023. This will include those who are currently managing or are at risk for chronic conditions.
“We have a strong track record of investing in innovation, including VR, to improve our comprehensive well-being platform and the employee experience, and the initial feedback on Get Active from Lennar’s Associates is both encouraging and inspiring,” said William Janis, senior vice president of health advocacy at Sharecare.
The company’s new approach to providing comprehensive health benefits will allow its partners and their employees to benefit from a unique and engaging VR program that’s designed to help people improve their health while lowering their overall costs.
Along with employees, Sharecare will also be able to provide their customers with the opportunity to implement the Get Active program into their employee benefits platform through Sharecare+. Sharecare will work with interested partners to help identify eligible individuals. Family advocates will also be able to help enroll members in the program as well!
After they are enrolled in the program, eligible members will receive a Meta Quest 2 VR headset along with an exercise guide featuring fun VR games and apps that encourages exercise.
Through the Move app, participants can record their activity minutes and sync them with the Sharecare app. The data collected from their workouts will then be used to set their own personal goals and reward programs.
To learn more about the various features of the Sharecare VR health ecosystem, you can contact the company by sending them an email at [email protected] or visiting their website by clicking here.
Image Credit: Sharecare