At my place of work, we have a "healthy measures" incentive program. It's pretty simple... you go to your doctor annually, (s)he checks your blood pressure, cholesterol, height/weight ratio, whether you are a smoker... and if you fall into the acceptable ranges, or agree to try, you qualify for a significant discount on health insurance.
I've argued - always without apparent result - that another "healthy measure" is level of activity. If you get that ticker ticking on a regular basis, I believe you are healthier than if your biggest exertion is pushing buttons on remote-controls, phones, etc. And the only time you break a sweat is if you lose some facebook friends.
Now, I see there's a life insurance broker that makes these bold claims:
- "Cyclists deserve a lower rate because cycling reduces the risk of heart disease by 18% while lowering blood pressure and improving sleep."
- Cyclists who ride an hour a day, have 18% lower risk of all-cause mortality than non-cyclists.
- For those who ride an hour and a half or more, the benefit increases to 28%.
- Cyclists have a 45% reduction in all cancer incidence as compared to non-cyclists.
- Cyclists have a 18% lower incidence of cardiovascular disease as compared to non-cyclists.
Wow! If indeed those are actual numbers (and the website linked above has links to the various research), that's pretty meaningful. Of course, if you get squashed while riding, by somebody in a bigger vehicle, it won't matter how healthy you are!
(Maybe it's rigged... because the average lifespan is in the 80s these days, and not many 80-plus year-olds are still riding bikes. Haha. I might have to fill out the form and see what happens. I have a term-life policy but if I could get the same coverage for cheaper, I'd not turn that down.)