Living well means more than just a long life. It’s about having the health and wealth to enjoy time with the people you love most. But achieving physical and financial goals can seem like an overwhelming task to complete alone. That’s where John Hancock life insurance with Vitality can help your clients.
The John Hancock Vitality Program, included with most life insurance policies, is a science and technology-based wellness program that supports and rewards healthy habits.
It focuses on the three established pillars of good health – nutrition, physical fitness, and mental well-being – and recognizes the many small decisions we make each day can have a big impact on physical and financial well-being. Here’s how it works:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our behavior directly impacts our overall health and longevity. It’s estimated that up to 2/3 of all deaths in the U.S. are substantially or primarily driven by behavioral choices, with the four top causes of death being preventable diseases: heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and stroke.[i]
So what can be done to prevent these behavior-related conditions? Research has shown that providing incentives for healthy behaviors (for example, bypassing sugary food in favor of healthier selections), short term rewards are married with long-term goals. Adopting this approach has allowed the John Hancock Vitality Program to help customers reach their long-term goals because they are broken down into immediate, achievable steps, with rewards incentivized along the way.
There is overwhelming evidence that a nutritious diet is one of the most critical components to living a long and healthy life. However, the average American does not follow a healthy diet and that lifestyle impacts more than just their waistline; it also affects their wallet.[ii]
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spends $3,008 on restaurant meals and takeout per year, with those meals each totaling 1,205 calories and 1,300 mg of sodium[iii] – about half of a person’s typical daily recommendation. Meals prepped at home, on the other hand, are associated with diets lower in calories, sugar, and fat, and lower monthly expenses.[iv]
Eating habits can take their toll in other ways – people in poor health tend to work less, earn less, face higher medical expenses, die earlier, and accumulate less wealth compared to those in good health, says the National Bureau of Economic Research.[v] In particular, poor diet accounts for nearly 700,000 deaths each year in the United States.[vi]
With the HealthyFood™ Benefit, Vitality members can save up to $600 in annual savings on healthy food purchases.
Less than 25% of Americans get enough exercise, based on federal standards, yet studies confirm that inactivity plays a significant role in the development of chronic and preventable diseases, like obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression, and premature death.[vii]
How significant is this issue? Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death in the United States.[viii] In fact, recent data indicates that 69% of American adults are overweight or obese.[ix] In addition to major medical issues, those numbers also translate into more sick days, medical claims, and healthcare costs.[x]
Incorporating more physical activity into day-to-day life can help safeguard from overall health and wealth. Setting small achievable goals paves the way for a bigger long-term impact.
Healthy Mind: Improving Mental Well-Being
Stressors are everywhere in daily life (work, family, friends), but for many people – 63%, in fact – worry over potential financial difficulties is the primary cause.[xii] And this can have a big impact on health, productivity and general quality of life.
Taking steps, like getting enough quality sleep practicing meditation and yoga, to give the mind and body the relaxation and rest it needs can improve overall health because mental well-being is linked to overall well-being. For instance, research shows a chronic lack of sleep, or getting poor quality sleep, increases the risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression.[xiii]
With the HealthyMind™ benefit, the newest feature of the John Hancock Vitality life insurance program, members are rewarded for taking steps to give their mind and body the relaxation and rest they need to improve their overall health. It includes a free 12-month subscription to Headspace®, a top-rated meditation app with millions of users in more than 190 countries.[xiv]
Contact us to learn more about the different ways John Hancock life insurance with Vitality can have an impact on your clients’ health and wealth.
[i] Yoon, P.W., Bastian, B., Anderson, R., et al. (2014, May 2). Potentially preventable deaths from the five leadings causes of death—United States, 2008-2010. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 63(17)369-389. Accessed from http://www.cdc.org/mmwr/pdf/wk/mm6317.pdf
[ii] Urban, L.E., Weber, J.L., Heyman, M.B. et al. (2016, April). Energy contents of frequently ordered restaurant meals and comparison with human energy requirements and US Department of Agriculture database information: a multisite randomized study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 116(4)590-598. Retrieved from https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01736-0/abstract
[iii] Oaklander, M. (2017, April 24). Your meal has six times more salt than you think. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/4746932/sodium-salt-fast-food/
[iv] Tiwar, A., Aggarwal, A., Tang, W. et al. Cooking at home: a strategy to comply with U.S. dietary guidelines at no extra cost. American Journal of Preventative Medicine. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.01.017
[v] De Nardi, M., Pashchenko, S., and Porapakkarm, P. (2017, October). The lifetime costs of bad health. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w23963
[vi] Murray C.J., Atkinson C., Bhalla K. et al. (2013) The state of US health, 1990-2010: burden of diseases, injuries, and risk factors. JAMA 310(6):591-608.
[vii] Warburton, D., Nicol, C., and Bredin, S. (2006, March 14). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 174(6) 801-809. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402378/
[viii] Flegal, K.M., Graubard, B.I., Willamson, D.F. et al. Excess deaths associated with underweight, overweight, and obesity. JAMA, 294(5): 552-553. doi:10.1001/jama.293.15.1861
[ix] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FastStats: obesity and overweight. Available from http://cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/obesity-overweight.html
[x] The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Stroke Association, and the American Heart Association. A Nation at Risk: Obesity in the United States, A Statistical Sourcebook. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2005.
[xi] RAND Europe 2018, Financial incentives and physical activity, Evidence from the Vitality’s Apple Watch benefit, Marco Hafner, Jack Pollard and Chris van Stolk, page vii
[xii] John Hancock Retirement Plan Services Financial Stress Survey, June 2016.
[xiii] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. “Brain basics: Understanding sleep.” Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Understanding-Sleep
[xiv] Based on internal data from Headspace.com, About Us, accessed from: https://www.headspace.com/about-us. This feature is not available in New York.