Fit or Flabby? Your Insurer Wants to Know

imagesCAHGPGB7by Janet Simpson Benvenuti

In Florence, Italy, my 22-year old son joked about the abs on Michaelangelo’s David, his own physiology sculpted by the intense training regimen of a college athlete. While our physiques pale when compared to the ideal or even our twenty-something bodies, swimming or golf, tennis or yoga, cycling or walking will help keep us and our parents fit. Some of you may already be wearing a bracelet from Fitbit or Up by Jawbone to monitor your daily routine or using apps such as MyFitnessPal. With the roll-out of the Accountable Care Act, expect your health insurer to request four health statistics – height, weight, blood pressure and waist size – and future insurance premiums through your employer will be adjusted based on your overall fitness and health.

If you’re looking for a new way to stay fit with friends, check out Vizifit, a wellness venture being launched in Silicon Valley. Vizifit offers friends the opportunity to take exercise classes together on-line, regardless of where each friend is located. Yoga, Zumba, cardio and other classes are offered and during your workout, you see only the instructor and your friends. Best yet, you can interact with your friends and talk among yourselves without disrupting the class. The site is in beta-testing right now, but it sounds like a great way to exercise with long-distance friends or when you are traveling.

Have you considered getting your parents or older loved ones Fitbit or Up by Jawbone to self-monitor their sleep, eating and exercise habits? At present, these bracelets are being marketed only to young and middle-aged consumers, but the real health benefit may be for able-bodied seniors. Today, most products for our parents focus on managing illness, not wellness – alarmed electronic pill box, anyone? – it’s up to us to change that paradigm.

© Circle of Life Partners