Apple Watch Now Part of UnitedHealthcare Wearable Device Program That Helps Motivate People to Walk Nearly 12,000 Steps per Day

November 15, 2018
apple watch

Apple Watch® is a health and fitness companion with intelligent coaching features and water resistance, that is now integrated with the UnitedHealthcare Motion wearable device program. (Source: Apple)

  • Participants in UnitedHealthcare Motion® can now buy and start using Apple Watch® – initially paying tax and shipping – and use program rewards toward the purchase price of the device by meeting walking goals  

  • Active program participants log an average of nearly 12,000 steps per day, more than double the number of the average American adult1

  • People with chronic conditions are 20 percent more likely to participate in the program than those without such a diagnosis; people who have diabetes are 40 percent more likely to participate than those who do not  

Apple Watch is now part of UnitedHealthcare Motion, a national wearable device program that encourages current participants to achieve nearly 12,000 steps per day* – more than double the number of the average American adult1.

Starting this month, Apple Watch is now available to eligible employer-sponsored program participants, enabling people to use their Apple Watch or shop for a new one. An alternative payment option enables participants to receive and start using Apple Watch (initially paying only tax and shipping) and then apply program earnings toward the purchase price of the device. Participants may be able to own – with a zero balance – Apple Watch after approximately six months of meeting daily walking goals.

UnitedHealthcare Motion provides eligible plan participants access to wearables that may help them earn over $1,000 per year by meeting certain daily walking goals**. Since the program’s inception, participants have collectively walked more than 235 billion steps and earned nearly $38 million in rewards.

The program is part of UnitedHealthcare’s broader effort to provide people with wearables, digital resources and financial incentives that help them take charge of their health, better manage chronic conditions and make care more affordable. These efforts build on UnitedHealthcare’s existing consumer offerings, powered by Rally®, which have enabled people to earn more than $1 billion in health-related financial incentives since 2016.

“UnitedHealthcare’s success using wearables, incentives and digital platforms has helped people enhance their well-being, providing support and motivation to stay engaged in their health,” said Rebecca Madsen, chief consumer officer of UnitedHealthcare. “More employers and consumers are adopting wearables and digital platforms as key resources to support them on their journey toward better health.”

Among all eligible UnitedHealthcare Motion participants, more than 45 percent participated in the program – compared to some other employer-sponsored disease-management programs that report 5 percent engagement rates2. Among people who registered their device, 59 percent stayed active for at least six months, a rate higher than gym memberships (29 percent3). Current program participants walk an average of nearly 12,000 steps, or more than twice the approximately 5,200 steps logged by the average American adult1.

The program has been particularly appealing to eligible participants with chronic conditions. People with such a diagnosis are 20 percent more likely to participate, and people who have diabetes are 40 percent more likely to participate than those who do not.

UnitedHealthcare Motion is available to employers with self-funded and fully insured health plans across the country. The program may enable employees to earn up to $4 per day in financial incentives based on achieving FIT goals**:

  • Frequency: complete 500 steps within seven minutes six times per day, at least an hour apart;
  • Intensity: complete 3,000 steps within 30 minutes; and
  • Tenacity: complete 10,000 total steps each day.

Program participants can now use Apple Watch to see how they are tracking against the program’s three daily goals, helping integrate physical activity and engagement with their health plan.

Apple Watch is a health and fitness companion with intelligent coaching features, and water resistance, and now – with Series 4 – features a next-generation accelerometer and gyroscope. The program’s FIT targets are set in the UnitedHealthcare Motion app, which integrates with Apple Watch to track daily goals.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and making the health system work better for everyone by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. In the United States, UnitedHealthcare offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. The company also provides health benefits and delivers care to people through owned and operated health care facilities in South America. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified health care company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at or follow @UHC on Twitter.


Apple Watch is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

*All UnitedHealthcare Motion results based on 2018 internal analysis of program participants

**Financial incentives may be less due to limits under applicable laws.

1 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.

2Lynch, WD et al. 2006. “Documenting Participation in an Employer-Sponsored Disease Management Program: Selection, Exclusion, Attrition, & Active Engagement as Possible Metrics,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2006: (48):447-454.

3 Sperandei, S et al. 2016. “Adherence to Physical Activity in an Unsupervised Setting: Explanatory Variables for High Attrition Rates among Fitness Center Members.” Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 19 (11): 916–20

uhc motion milestones
UnitedHealthcare Motion® is a national wearable device program that has encouraged people to collectively walk more than 235 billion steps and earn nearly $38 million in rewards. (Source: UnitedHealthcare)