Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of physical activity among people worldwide has significantly declined due to lockdowns and reduced accessibility to gyms and outdoor public spaces. Physical inactivity has also had a significant impact on health and life insurers, given how low activity levels can cause a wide range of chronic diseases that lead to higher costs derived from care.
Here’s a closer look at the dangers of physical inactivity and how the Digital Health Engagement Platform (DHEP) from dacadoo can generate higher customer engagement.
The Importance Of Exercise and Physical Activity
Staying physically active is critical to maintaining good overall health and reducing the risk for chronic diseases that often require long-term medical care. Exercise offers countless physical and psychological health benefits, especially when practiced during times of distress, such as during COVID-19. Exercise can strengthen the immune system, boost energy, improve mood and mental health, and promote higher-quality sleep.
After worldwide lockdowns began in March 2020, exercise and physical activity rates slowed all over the world. In a July 2021 study published in the Disability and Health Journal, researchers surveyed 125 people in the United Kingdom about their physical activity levels during lockdown periods. An estimated 61% of respondents reported exercising less during lockdowns due to a lack of access to gyms and exercise equipment.
In another study published in a February 2021 issue of BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, researchers evaluated 66 studies from all over the world that analyzed the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on physical activity levels. They found that physical activity levels decreased worldwide as sedentary behaviors increased—especially among those diagnosed with diabetes.
Consequences Of Physical Inactivity
Low physical activity levels increase the risk of chronic diseases, which drives higher healthcare costs. Physical inactivity increases the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Healthcare costs are 2.3 times higher for people with diabetes. Diabetes in the U.S. costs the country an estimated $327 billion every year—$237 billion of which is attributed to direct medical costs and $90 billion to reduced productivity costs. These numbers are projected to continue rising the longer people stay inactive.
Given how lockdowns keep people at home and prevent them from getting the amount of exercise needed to stay healthy and ward off chronic illness, new solutions are necessary to keep people engaged in fitness. These individuals need a new source of motivation that can effectively prevent and reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes and other long-term diseases.
How a Digital Health Engagement Platform (DHEP) Can Help
A DHEP is an effective prevention tool that can motivate users to achieve and maintain a holistically healthy lifestyle. dacadoo’s DHEP platform combines behavioral motivation techniques with strategies used in gaming and social network platforms to engage users in regular physical activity.
In September 2020, an at-home fitness company called Peloton announced it had experienced a 172% surge in sales driven by people who needed a motivational and interactive source of physical activity during COVID-19 lockdowns. Peloton offers exercise equipment such as indoor cycling bikes equipped with television screens that allow users to stream and participate in live fitness classes from the privacy and comfort of their homes. The DHEP from dacadoo similarly engages users to increase their physical activity levels, by keeping them motivated and informed regarding their health status with the Health Score.
Contact dacadoo today to learn more about its many user engagement solutions for health and life insurers that want to increase engagement among policyholders. dacadoo offers Digital Health Engagement Services and Health Risk Quantification solutions designed especially for health and life insurers.