There’s a big focus on wellness today – and with good reason. According to the Physical Activity Council, 27% of Americans over age six are not physically active. That’s a problem given research concludes that regular movement may help decrease the risk of chronic health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, improve mental health, slow bone density loss, and even help curb carvings for sugary foods. 
To help employees adopt healthier habits, many employers are turning to wellness programs, including ones that incorporate wearable devices. For instance, programs such as UnitedHealthcare Motion® are designed to encourage employees to move more throughout the day, with the long-term goal of improving health outcomes, lowering absenteeism and boosting productivity.
Once enrolled, UnitedHealthcare Motion may enable participants to earn financial incentives for meeting certain daily activity goals, including for walking, running, cycling, swimming and strength training (among dozens of others). Those incentives are then periodically deposited into the member’s health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA), helping cover the cost of qualified medical expenses for the individual or family members.
By providing members a wearable device at no additional cost, as well as offering buy-up options for a range of leading activity trackers and smartwatches, UnitedHealthcare Motion helps participants monitor their movement patterns each day, with the ability to earn incentives for meeting certain activity goals.
The activity targets are designed to encourage people to move with frequency, intensity, and tenacity, which stands for FIT. These FIT goals, and the incentives that may be achieved by reaching them, helps set UnitedHealthcare Motion apart from some other wellness programs by encouraging “micro-interventions” that may encourage consistent engagement. In fact, UnitedHealthcare Motion participants log an average of nearly 11,000 steps per day, which is double the average American adult. 
Goal: 300 steps in five minutes; six times a day, at least one hour apart.
Benefit: Even among people who exercise regularly, research shows individuals who spend most of the rest of the day sitting can still be at an elevated risk of worse health outcomes. Sitting less and moving more – even in short increments – can help reduce spikes in blood sugar levels.
Goal: Exercise with moderate intensity for 30 continuous minutes a day by walking, running, cycling, swimming, strength training or another favorite activity.
Benefit: A regular, moderately intense activity has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase focus. People who consistently elevate their heart rate may also reduce their risk for certain health issues, such as heart disease.
Goal: Take at least 10,000 steps in a day.
Benefit: Consistently reaching this step-count goal can promote general health, increases energy, and help decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer.
UnitedHealthcare Motion is available for purchase by employers nationally and in New Mexico to mid-sized and large organizations.
To find out more about UnitedHealthcare Motion other wellness programs and insurance options in New Mexico, contact local UnitedHealthcare Sales Account Executive Robert Meza at [email protected] or at 505-796-3301. Click here to learn more about UnitedHealthcare Motion.
 Harvard University, 2016, health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Inflammation_A_unifying_theory_of_disease
 UnitedHealthcare internal analysis of program participants, 2021.
 Bassett, David R., Holly R. Wyatt, Helen Thompson, John C. Peters, and James O. Hill. 2010. “Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults:” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 42 (10): 1819–25.
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