COVID-19 inspired "Fitness Passports" as an extreme measure against the most common death causes
Image credit: Taken from https://unsplash.com/photos/qS7fr07bljM and edited.
J. NikolaJul 24, 2021
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The idea is to develop the concept of Fitness Passports with the underlying system of health monitoring, promotion, and awards. According to your physical activity and healthy habits, you could get awarded for the benefit you bring to the state by taking care of yourself.
COVID-19 changed things a lot. For the first time in history, people were forced to stay in their houses and obey the set of extreme quarantine measures to stay safe and help countries lower the incidence and death rates. But how deadly was this pandemic and how necessary and legally acceptable were the extreme measures are still subjects of discussion. By the Health System Tracker, COVID-19 currently stands in 7th place on the list of the most significant death causes and was undoubtedly the leading cause of death in certain moments of recent two years. If the nature of the periodic appearance of COVID-19 cases is taken into account, it still stands pretty high, but uncomparable to the causes of death such as heart disease, cancer, accidents, stroke, and others that exist for decades. What if other causes of death were taken as seriously as the COVID-19 was?
By closing restaurants, bars and canceling all public gatherings, along with total quarantines from time to time, countries were more or less efficient in reducing the incidence rates. Consequently, death rates were reduced, too. What if extreme measures to reduce the number of accidents, heart diseases, or strokes were implemented, inspired by the COVID-19 example? Would they be as efficient as the COVID-19 measures?
As the newest measure, countries implemented the certificates of the health status in terms of COVID-19 pandemics. If you test negative, get over a recent COVID-19 infection, or get vaccinated, you get a health certificate. With this certificate, which usually lasts from 3 days to few months, you can attend events, travel, and most importantly, get back to your normal life much faster. The international certificate which allows you to travel is called the " COVID-19 Passport" . While many people think it's just making things more complicated, I am sure it opened many new doors. One of them is described below and could potentially help us live healthier and longer!
My idea would be to reduce the rate of strokes, heart diseases, cancers, and all other health-related causes of death by motivating people to live healthier lives.
The concept of health certificates
I would implement the concept of health certificates, called "Fitness IDs" or "Passports", which would be a digital record of evidence of your healthy lifestyle. It would contain information about your gym subscriptions, sports club memberships, health-related projects, healthy initiatives, and even the receipts from the healthy food shops and markets. You would collect points for everything you do or attend that has a beneficial effect on your health. The points would appear or disappear on your account, depending on what activity did you do and when. For example, you would get points for an active gym membership, but they would significantly reduce when it expires. The points would not completely disappear because the effect of working out on your body was rather long-term. A similar principle would apply to the other point-awarding things, too.
The personal benefit
If people realize that by working out and eating healthy, they can, not only feel better and lose weight but also travel with 5% discount (or even more, if traveling to places famous for sports and healthy lifestyle), get coupons for their favorite foods, pay less for Netflix subscription, public transportation or pay less/eat more in fast food restaurants (because they do something to reduce the negative effect of it), they would feel more like doing it. The final consequence, hopefully, would be the reduction in the incidence rates of the "most popular" health-related causes of death.
Who would award you for this and why?
As many things that we pay are public and state-owned, the first and the toughest one to consider is the government. By simple math, we could calculate how much of the state's money can a person that lives a healthy lifestyle save by reducing hospital visits.
On the other hand, companies directly lose money when you don't work. If people took care of their health, they would be able to work more and help their company to save money. That extra money could be added to your salary as a "health bonus".
The concept would not punish you if you don't obey the rules but would allow you to do much more if you consider healthy living.
How could we make this measure much more extreme and motivating?
How could it be tested on small scale?
Who else could prospect from your healthy lifestyle and would be a good body to ask money from?
Not Maintaining Healthy Lifestyles should Reduce the Money gotten from Life Insurances
Samuel BelloJul 26, 2021
By committing suicide, someone with a life insurance could risk making their life insurance valid. When people cultivate habits that are deleterious to their health and could make them live shorter lives, the insurance companies usually overlook such "gradual suicides" even if they directly or indirectly lead to the death of the insured person. Insurance policies should be structured so that people who have habits that can shorten their life spans are paid less money for their life insurances. Drinking, smoking and not exercising regularly could reduce their insurance payments by small amounts. These policies should encourage healthier habits in the long run. This is an example of measures that encourage healthy living.
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Make it more accessible not tracked and forced
Michelle ChristineAug 28, 2021
Working out and playing certain sports used to be fun for me UNTIL I started learning about ideas like these. They were fun because they weren't required, and literally by definition "just for fun." Sure you can get everything down to a precise number but at what real cost? I'm all for making these things more ACCESSIBLE (reduced working hours required for a decent life, more local places to be able to drop in and play whatever game you like, affordable gym memberships, parks and safe walking paths) but not forced. I almost added creative in home exercise equipment to the list and realized it's much too similar to a hamster wheel. And we can do better. Make it available, keep many many many many many different options open, but don't let the data reduce us down to an experiment and take all of the joy out of living.
The anxiety mindset this would bring about to anyone who isn't completely oblivious to everything I'm not sure would outweight the physical health benefits. This should not exist (possibly ever) but definitely not before a much more serious discussion and agreement on irrevocable human rights and insurance/other profits.
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State-funded discounts for registered organ donors
J. NikolaMar 05, 2022
Give additional discounts on club memberships, healthy food, sport/food-related studies and physical activities to the registered organ donors. The discounts should be funded by the state since organ donations are strictly regulated and public.
To promote healthy living
To make a healthy living financially accessible for a wider audience
To motivate people to become organ donors and help the ones in need after they die
To increase the quality of donated organ material by healthy living and diet
How would it work?
You could enter the program by registering as an organ donor. In return, you would get a discount or a program member card that you present while buying food in healthy food stores, signing up for a club membership, paid physical activity or sports colleges (or similar study programmes).
Why would the state fund it?
people pay social and health securities, insurances, taxes and bring money in, while dead people don't --> healthy individuals who live longer are the ultimate economical goal of every state with public health policies
people die and their organs go to waste, while there is a really long list of organ recipients waiting for their life-saving organs --> increase the number of organ donors to save more lives
to move forward in finding solutions to reduce the rate of aging, we need more people interested in sport and food studies --> invest in the development of health, food and sports systems and technologies
How to stop the fraud?
Some people would probably try to use the advantages of the program and then sign off the organ donor list. To prevent this, an informational interview and a contract should be signed, where every participant gets familiar with the advantages and the responsibilities they have. If for example, people want to leave the program, they should pay back the full amount of the discount they claimed.