Manulife introduces program to make millions of Canadians healthier

Revolutionizing benefit programs, Manulife Vitality engages and empowers employees through the world’s largest integrated health and wellness platform

  • Vitality is the world’s largest and longest running behavioral platform linked to financial services. Its purpose is to make people healthier.
  • Backed by behavioural science, it’s intuitive and is reinforced by more than 20 years of data-driven results.
  • Completely integrated into the employee benefits offering at no additional cost for employers.
  • Employees will be able to choose to participate in the program.

Waterloo, ON (Nov. 20, 2018) – Manulife is taking a stand on improving employee health in Canada by giving millions of group benefits employees* access to the largest behavioural change platform in the world – starting this spring. The Vitality platform already has 8 million members globally and has been proven to help prevent chronic diseases, which account for about 88 per cent of all deaths in Canada.[1]

“We believe this program will help to revolutionize the way employees experience benefits in Canada,” said Donna Carbell, Senior Vice President, Group Benefits. “We also know that having healthy employees matters to employers – it drives higher engagement, productivity and better overall organizational health.”

Manulife Vitality is a technology-based platform, which integrates with almost every wearable device – such as smartwatches or fitness bracelets – and inspires and motivates people to make healthy choices. Through meaningful actions, personal goals and science-based motivation techniques, the healthiest choices become the easiest choices. And people are rewarded for it with discounts and gift cards.

Currently, it’s estimated that preventable health conditions account for as much as 86 per cent of all national health costs, and worker absenteeism costs the Canadian economy more than $16 billion per year.[2] The drivers for chronic diseases (respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease) include four key lifestyle factors: physical inactivity, smoking, unhealthy eating and excessive alcohol consumption.

According to Statistics Canada, only about 1 in 5 Canadian adults are getting the recommended amount of physical activity (150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week). That means 4 in 5 adults are not active enough.[3] Manulife Vitality, leveraging the latest in behavioural science and digital personalization, sparks the engagement people need.

“The health of Canadians matters to us,” said Mike Doughty, President & CEO, Manulife Canada. “By expanding Manulife Vitality to our group benefits customers, we have an opportunity to help encourage millions of Canadian workers to make healthy choices every day.”

Manulife and Vitality already share the common motivation of helping people live longer, healthier lives. “For the past two years, Vitality and Manulife have shared a commitment to improving the lives of our retail insurance customers,” said Kailas Nair, Vice President Strategy and Partnerships for Vitality Group. “Offering Manulife Vitality to employers is a natural expansion of our partnership. Canadian companies can benefit by improving the health and wellbeing of their employees, which results in lower healthcare costs and more productive work forces.”


* With some exceptions.

1. World Health Organization: Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) Country Profiles [PDF], 2016.

2. Dr. Sheldon Elman. “How companies can use technology to boost employee wellness” (The Globe and Mail; October 16, 2018).

3. Participaction Pulse Report (October 16, 2018).

All figures in CAD unless otherwise stated.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2017, we had about 35,000 employees, 73,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving more than 26 million customers. As of September 30, 2018, we had over $1.1 trillion (US$863 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made $27.6 billion in payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. For more information, visit

About Vitality

Guided by a core purpose of making people healthier, Vitality is the leader in improving health to unlock outcomes that matter. By blending smart tech, data, incentives, and behavioral science, we inspire healthy changes in individuals and organizations. Vitality brings a global perspective through successful partnerships with the smartest insurers and most forward-thinking employers around the world. More than 8 million people in 19 countries engage in the Vitality program. For more information, please visit

Source: Manulife Financial Corporation

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