New Connect 2Bfit site uses social networking to spark employee wellness programs

Let’s face it: It’s tough to be healthy. With busy schedules and tight budgets, it can be difficult to eat right, get regular exercise and see the doctor regularly. Yet research shows that friends, family and coworkers influence our health and that working with them can be a more effective way to sustain healthy behavior change.

In that spirit, Blue Cross has launched Connect 2BfitSM, a new social wellness site that helps users improve their health by engaging with and challenging others. The site is a new feature of BlueHealthConnection, our wellness and care management program, and is already available to MyBlue individual members enrolled in certain plans. It will be available as a purchase option for employer groups beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Connect 2Bfit uses social networking technology and game mechanics to lower health care costs and improve the health of members through peer motivation, support and accountability. A four-year study found that social wellness programs like Connect 2Bfit helped members better manage their chronic conditions and lowered health care costs by $937 per person and generated $1,235 in annual productivity savings per person.

In a study evaluating the use of a similar social wellness program in a 12-week exercise and weight-loss campaign, participants were more likely to achieve a 5 percent weight loss when they were part of a team, and the likelihood of achieving a clinically significant weight loss increased further with more social support.

Connect 2Bfit allows users to set health goals, track their progress, build a supportive network and join fun health and wellness challenges that focus on exercise, nutrition and life balance.

It features:

  • Robust social networking tools, including mobile integration
  • Individual and team-based wellness challenges and competitions
  • User-generated wellness challenges
  • Healthy goal setting, fitness tracking and health conversations
  • Fitness device integration and extensive data reporting

Once you join, you can invite friends and family to join your network, even if they’re not Blue Cross members, for free and with full use of the site’s tools.

If you’re a MyBlue member, you can learn more  here. Employers who are wondering if social wellness is right for your workforce should contact your Blues account manager.

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