Health Shield research: Fitness is one of fastest growing healthcare benefits

Fitness options are one of the fastest-growing and most popular healthcare benefits, according to research by cash plan provider Health Shield.

A survey of more than 20,000 cash plan members, found that in 2010 65% of 18 to 24-year-olds said they valued having the fitness benefit as part of their health cash plan, a rise of 12% since 2006.

There was a 6% rise for 35 to 44-year-olds and 4% for 55 to 64-year-olds over the same four years.

The biggest rise was among male employees aged between 18 and 24, jumping by 27% to 71% in 2010; 9% more than female employees in the same age group.

The fitness benefit includes discounts and contributions to gym memberships, swimming and exercise classes or a personal trainer.

Lara Rendell, marketing manager at Health Shield, said: “The survey results show people are taking an interest in their health, wellbeing and fitness. If you give people the opportunity and the grounding to look after themselves, they will actually take it up.”

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