Fitness-related activities and medical claims related to hospital admissions - South Africa, 2006

Lambert, Estelle V., da Silva, Rosanne, Patel, Deepak, Fatti, Libero, Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy, Noach, Adam, Nossel, Craig, Derman, Wayne and Gaziano, Thomas (2009) Fitness-related activities and medical claims related to hospital admissions - South Africa, 2006. Preventing Chronic Disease, 6 4: 1-9.

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Author Lambert, Estelle V.
da Silva, Rosanne
Patel, Deepak
Fatti, Libero
Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy
Noach, Adam
Nossel, Craig
Derman, Wayne
Gaziano, Thomas
Title Fitness-related activities and medical claims related to hospital admissions - South Africa, 2006
Journal name Preventing Chronic Disease   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-1151
Publication date 2009-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 6
Issue 4
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Place of publication Atlanta, GA, United States
Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention * National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We report on the effect of an incentive-based wellness program on medical claims and hospital admissions among members of a major health insurer. The focus of this investigation was specifically on fitness-related activities in this insured population.
Adult members of South Africa's largest private health insurer (n = 948,974) were grouped, a priori, on the basis of documented participation in fitness-related activities, including gym visits, into inactive (80%, equivalent to ≤3 gym visits/y), low active (7.0%, 4-23 gym visits/y), moderate active (5.2%, 24-48 gym visits/y), and high active (7.4%, >48 gym visits/y) groups. We compared medical claims data related to hospital admissions between groups after adjustment for age, sex, medical plan, and chronic illness benefits.
Hospitalization costs per member were lower in each activity group compared with the inactive group. This same pattern was demonstrated for admissions rates. There was good agreement between level of participation in fitness-related activities and in other wellness program offerings; 90% of people only nominally engaged in the wellness program also were low active or inactive, whereas 84% of those in the high active group also had the highest overall participation in the wellness program.
Participation in fitness-related activities within an incentive-based health insurance wellness program was associated with lower health care costs. However, involvement in fitness-related activities was generally low, and further research is required to identify and address barriers to participation in such programs.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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