Imagine being paid to lose weight, instead of wasting money on pointless gym memberships that depend on your desire to exercise.
In October, Apple launched its LumiHealth programme in partnership with the Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB), offering a personalised health and wellness series of challenges to users, who are in turn rewarded with coins upon completing them.
To participate in LumiHealth, all you need is an iPhone and an Apple Watch, and a Singapore SingPass account, as this app is only available to Singaporeans. Both Apple devices act as conduits in which the app is able to track an individual’s activities. Simply download the LumiHealth app onto your iPhone and voila, you’re all set to embark on your LumiHealth journey.
The app basically offers you exercise options to perform, and some of the challenges will require you to use your Watch, to keep tabs of your runs and exercises, or even simply measure how many Activity Rings you have completed on your Apple Watch.
To make LumiHealth interesting for its participants, HPB and Apple have given the app a little lore for users to follow – an adorable teardrop-shaped protagonist Lu on its intergalactic journey by collecting coins to advance his path.
As it journey’s up the path, there will be milestones for users to reach and in order to reach said milestones, users will have to complete the many tasks assigned to them.
From an exercise and health point of view though, these tasks range from one of three types.
Firstly there is the Wellness challenges that looks after the participants’ mental health, and includes challenges such as journaling down your thoughts for the day, making sure you take time out to connect with your friends and family, and making sure you put your phone down 30 minutes before going to sleep to ensure you have a better night’s sleep.
These might look the easiest to complete but in fact, require the most discipline to do as you can easily click on the ‘I did this’ button to tell the app that you have completed the task, without actually having done so.
Thus, the onus is on you to have the self-discipline to make sure you actually journal your thoughts, or have taken time to talk with your family and friends, or complete the many other wellness tasks that have been given to you, before completing the task in the app. These challenges also take more than a day to complete, so even though you won’t have to do them consecutively everyday, you do need to take maybe two to four days to finish the various wellness tasks assigned.
Then there is the Activity Challenge, where every week you will be challenged to close all three of your Activity Rings on your Apple Watch. These offer the most number of points upon completion but are admittedly, the most difficult to complete as you can’t cheat, and requires anyone to find time out of their busy schedules to go out and exercise. Still, if you already have a fitness routine you do every week, then this challenge should be one you can easily accomplish.
Lastly, there is the Personalised Challenges which includes personal surveys on various health-related ailments you might need to be aware of. For example, we received a survey on the HPV vaccine which can help to prevent cervical cancer in women. You will also receive reminders and recommendations for health screenings, articles to read, and many others.
As mentioned, completing the LumiHealth tasks will award you points, which in turn you bring Lu closer to its next coin-filled milestone. And that’s where the fun begins, and why a SingPass account is needed. Every 1,500 coins gained will allow participants to redeem a S$5 HPB eVoucher, which can be used at any of the participating partner merchants within LumiHealth, including supermarkets such as Fairprice, Cold Storage, and Giant, as well as other retail outlets such as Guardian, Watson’s, and local bubble tea chain, LiHo.
One thing we love about LumiHealth is that it doesn’t require too much commitment, and after signing up, you don’t need to be aggressively completing tasks every day (though you can definitely do so if you want to). Each Wellness challenge will give you several days to complete the task, which is more than enough days.
For example, we were given the task to make sure we keep our phones away 30 minutes before sleeping, and we were given eight days to complete the task four times. So if there are days that you find yourself unable to peel yourself away from your phone before sleeping, and have thus failed the challenge for the day, don’t worry. You can always complete the task the next day instead.
Over the course of a month, we earned 1,800 coins, which amounts to S$6 and we are now able to redeem a S$5 HPB eVoucher if we want to. Or we can wait a little longer and redeem a S$10 eVoucher when we’ve obtained 3,000 coins. Participants can stand to receive up to S$380 over the course of two years.
Of course, the amount we’ve reached can easily be achieved earlier if you are a very active person, with a set fitness routine as Activity Challenges award you with 8,300 points in total for completing all the rings. That is a lot considering each Wellness challenge only gives you around 2,000 points give or take. Thus, if you want to quickly reach more milestones to earn more coins, we highly recommend you close up your Activity Rings every week.
Of course, Activity Challenges aren’t all about closing your Activity Rings on your Apple Watch, there are also other ad-hoc tasks such as heading outdoors for a 15-minute walk, that is tracked using your Apple Watch. We easily completed this while doing our 5G test the other day.
If you ever want to know how far away you are from your next milestone, you can always refer to the main screen, which comes with helpful speech bubbles letting you know the amount of points needed for the next milestone, as well as the end of the chapter.
All in all, LumiHealth is a great initiative by both Apple and HPB to encourage Apple users to take care of not only their physical health but also their mental wellness, which is something still sadly overlooked in society today. Sometimes, with how busy everyone is, it is nice to have someone to remind you to take a well-deserved breather, or head out to exercise and clear your head while staying healthy. What’s more, you get to earn money doing so, making it the best of both worlds.
Germaine is a fun-sized introvert who loves nothing better than sleeping in on rainy days. She can be found reading fanfiction and manga while still waiting for her Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’ll come eventually.