Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 10, 2011

MHealthy to launch Rewards 2011, Active U

MHealthy will launch MHealthy Rewards 2011 and Active U, its two largest programs, on Jan. 25. Last year more than 15,000 people participated in Rewards 2010 and 11,000 people logged more than 18 million activity minutes in Active U. 

"It only seemed natural to launch Active U and Rewards together," says LaVaughn Palma-Davis, senior director of University Health & Well-Being Services. "These are our two most popular programs and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to participate and achieve their health goals this year."

"Based on last year's feedback, we've made some exciting improvements to Rewards 2011," Palma-Davis says. "Our goal is to motivate people to review their health every year and then commit to making changes to improve or maintain it. In keeping with our tradition of New Year's resolutions, this is an opportune time to reflect on what you want to improve in 2011 and use these programs to help you."

MHealthy Rewards includes completing the 2011 health questionnaire to receive a personalized health report and then completing one eligible health and well-being activity, like Active U, Weight Watchers, a stress-management program or more than 20 other options. It is again open to most benefits-eligible faculty and staff and awards up to a $100 before-tax incentive.

This year the process has been simplified, and the incentive is broken down into two payments. The first $50 is received for completing the health questionnaire and reviewing the personalized health risk report online. Another $50 can be earned for participating in one approved activity.

Palma-Davis says that cumulative data from the 2009 and 2010 health questionnaires show many of U-M's top health risk factors, including obesity and physical inactivity, are beginning to decrease. "The twofold benefit is our community is getting healthier and research suggests that even small reductions in health risks can lower long-term health-related costs," she says.

The sixth annual Active U physical activity challenge and charity fundraiser is open to all university faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees. Registration opens Jan. 25. The first day participants can begin logging their activity minutes is Feb. 15.

"Whether a first-timer or Active U veteran, participants will be pleasantly surprised with the program's new look and features, including multiple ways to log your activity minutes, such as online, through a mobile application or telephonically," Palma-Davis says. "We've worked hard to keep the program fresh while still retaining the things people love most, like the friendly team competitions, weekly drawings and charitable giving. We encourage teams to start organizing as we want to make 2011 a banner year."

Look for more information on MHealthy Rewards and Active U in the Jan. 25 issue of the Record Update and on the MHealthy website, www.MHealthy.umich.edu, beginning Jan. 25.