How to earn more vitality points

The editor of Moneybags, Angelique Ruzicka has pledged to chronicle what it takes to reach Discovery Vitality’s ‘gold status’. This week she does some mental assessments and signs up for a health check at Clicks.

Status: Blue
Start date of challenge: 2 July 2014
Points earned to date: 7960
Points status after this week’s challenges:
Points left needed to reach gold: 82040
Points needed to get gold: 90000

It’s disappointing to still find myself in the Blue category but it appears like I am stuck here till I reach 15,000 points when I get to ‘Bronze’. I can’t help but wonder what exactly will happen when I hit the next stage. Do I get some kind of reward? I’ll have to ask.

This week’s challenge 1: Mental well-being assessment
Points earned: 2000

Discovery says it acknowledges the fact that we live in stressful times. Don’t I know it! Juggling work, being a wife and mother (all roles that I love) can take their toll. But I am wondering if the stresses and strains of modern day life will count against me when I do this assessment. Still it is worthwhile as I can earn up to 2,500 points.

I start with the psychological wellbeing assessment (worth 500 points): It asks questions about my happiness levels to which I answered ‘mostly happy’. I have after all just witnessed Germany thrash Brazil in the football world cup (I am German and a huge fan of the German team) and I doing well with managing my money.

Doing the stressor, social support and mental resilience assessments earns me an extra 1,500 points (500 points each). They were quick and easy to do (you answer between five to seven questions) and you get a report at the end of each questionnaire.

My overall mental results report says that I am ‘reasonably coping’ and that the way in which I’ve been managing my stress is most likely working for me. The report offers me some further reading about what stress is, what causes stress and how to reduce it.

It also recommends that I speak to HR to find out if my work as any Employee Assistance Programmes that would help me cope with work stress. I am not sure how many people would follow through on this advice because stress can be rather personal and not something that all employees would want to share with the office, even if it is confidential.

Challenge two: Vitality Health Check
Points earned: Between 2,000 and 12,000 points

I could earn thousands of points doing a health check which would involve finding out things like my blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and weight. There are several places where I can get this test done as Discovery have a wellness network which includes Clicks, Dischem, Pick n Pay and some independent pharmacies too.

My first attempt to get an appointment failed because when I called Wellness Warehouse in Kloof Street they told me that they didn’t have a nurse working for them anymore and couldn’t offer the health check as a result. A pity that Discovery have found no way in keeping their list up to date. But Clicks in Gardens Centre were able to fit me in. I’ll report back next week how many points this test gets me.

What I liked this week:

 

The mental well-being assessments were quick and easy.

The Vitality health is ‘free’. It will cost me R145 but as I am a Discovery Health member it will be taken from my ‘Screening and Prevention Benefit’.

What I didn’t like this week:

 

The mental well-being section on the Vitality website says I can earn up to 2,500 points but as far as I could tell there were only four tests with the capability of earning 500 points for each test. I am wondering where I can get the extra 500 points. It’s not clear how so I will have to do more digging.

Vitality’s network list is comprehensive but as per my experience above it’s not up to date.

It says you can earn as much as 12,000 points doing the Vitality health check. But there’s a catch! You can only earn 2000 doing the actual tests while the rest are comprised of bonus points if your stats fall within Discovery’s ‘goal range’.

What’s more, you can do the assessment as many times as you like but it’s your first test that will earn you your points. So it doesn’t look like you could get your bonus points even if you managed to get into the schemes’ goal range in the interim.

Five ways to earn points:

1. Do the mental well-being assessment: 2000 points

2. Do the Vitality health check: between 2,000 and 12,000 points depending on how healthy you are.

3. Earn points for health checks and inoculations you have already done: Vitality has told me that any flu vacs you’ve had at work qualify for points. Also if your child has had inoculations within three months prior to joining Vitality you can claim for those too.

4. Earn points attending the gym: Vitality has partnered with several gyms including Virgin Active and I earn 150 points every time I swipe my gym card.

5. Get 5,000 points doing an HIV test.

For more information, click here.

To view last week’s story, click here.