A lot of employers and health insurers are now offering wellbeing apps and portals. They’re obviously hoping that giving people tools to help them manage their health conditions and nudge them toward healthy behaviors will reduce health care costs.
I recently checked out the wellbeing app offered by my own health insurance company. I actually think that some of the well-meaning but poorly-conceived prompts could be doing more harm than good.
To be fair, figuring out how to nudge people to adopt healthier habits is a hard nut to crack. In this episode, I share five ideas on how we can design behavioral interventions that are more effective as well as more inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. I also have an opportunity for you to see these principles in action.
- People not only need to believe that what you’re asking them to do will benefit them, they also need to feel confident that they can actually do it.
- People cannot pay attention to everything. Therefore, you need to help them pay attention to the right things.
- Don’t just discourage the negative; promote positive behaviors.
- All-or-nothing approaches (or mindsets) rarely lead to long-term change.
- We tend to over-estimate the impact of our most extreme behaviors. In fact, it is your most typical behavior that determines your results. Focus on those.