Employers are experimenting with supplemental wellness programs to keep employees in prime condition and cut healthcare costs. Gympass is increasing its offers to appeal to that market with Yes Health.
Gympass, a “corporate wellbeing platform” that stitches together options for personal training and fitness classes use of partner apps that focus on specific health needs, has announced a partnership with Yes Health, an app that promises instant advice from professionals on meal and exercise choices for the main goals of reaching optimal weight and preventing Type 2 diabetes.
Yes Health will presumably be the latest offering bundled into the package that companies offering Gympass pass on to their employees. Founded in 2014, Yes Health started as a diabetes prevention program, offered at $39 a month to individual users, and has branched into general health.
Users are assigned a personal health coach team that provides instant feedback 14 hours a day. Upload a salad, a plate of fish or — if you want to punk them — a 7-11 takeout tray of nachos and get a message from a real human expert about its healthfulness or some ideas about other options. Some other functions of the app are left to AI. The program provides personalized plans for food, exercise and some of other wellness areas (like mindfulness and sleep).
Yes Health touts itself as “CDC-recognized,” which seems to mean just that: The Centers for Disease Control thinks highly enough of its approach to place it on a list of Recognized Lifestyle Change Programs for diabetes.
Gympass was founded in Brazil with a program, similar to the American ClassPass, which allowed access to a variety of gyms and niche fitness businesses for a flat fee. (Sometimes for such apps, “access” can mean at a reduced rate for a drop-in rate.)
The company has amassed $300 million in investor money, with SoftBank leading, and as it has entered international markets, the company has marketed its program to employers. Some companies are experimenting with benefits that encourage healthy living and therefore prevent employee burnout and keep down insurance costs. New apps and digital programs have been inviting for chic or tech-centered companies.
Gympass’s more expansive approach was no doubt also inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden shutting of fitness spaces.
Nick Keppler is a freelance journalist, writer and editor. He enjoys writing the difficult stories, the ones that make him pore over studies, talk about subjects that make people uncomfortable, and explain concepts that have taken years to develop. Nick has written extensively about psychology, healthcare, and public policy for national publications and for those locally- based in Pittsburgh. In addition to Athletech News, Nick has written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Vice, Slate, Reuters, CityLab, Men’s Health, The Gizmodo Media Group, The Financial Times, Mental Floss, The Village Voice and AlterNet. His journalistic heroes include Jon Ronson, Jon Krakauer and Norah Vincent.