Health insurance plan operator Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) has launched Centered, an app available exclusively for iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, that tackles stress management by combining exercise and meditation.
Inside the app, fitness activity and meditation are represented as circles that converge to form a “centered circle,” signaling completion of the weekly goal.Available as a free download, Centered builds on the popularity of personal activity-monitoring devices allowing users to track their daily physical activity in addition to providing guidance for mindful meditation exercises. Inside the app, these two activities are represented as circles that converge to form a “centered circle,” signaling completion of the weekly goal.
“In recent years, gamification has been successful in encouraging people to change behaviors and stay engaged in programs,” said Kristin Conley, vice president, consumer lifecycle management, HCSC. “Centered employs game mechanics to encourage members to make the connection between exercise and stress management, which we believe leads to positive mental and physical health outcomes.”
Like many other iOS apps, Centered also leverages HealthKit integration to gather steps information from other integrated wearable fitness devices.
Users are able to set goals and reminders for daily steps and weekly mindful meditation sessions, while receiving tips for successful meditation and daily activity. Moreover, there are also options to view activity history, as well as the average relaxation rating pre- and post- meditation session evaluation.
Centered has three meditation sessions, ranging in length from four to 19 minutes, as well as a session which explains the benefits of mindful meditation.HCSC developed the app based on a study conducted with professors from the Adler School of Professional Psychology and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which found that abbreviated mindful meditation exercises result in significant reductions in stress levels and significant increases the participant’s ability to focus attention on recent experiences in a clear and non-reactive manner (mindfulness). As a result, Centered has three meditation sessions, ranging in length from four to 19 minutes, as well as a session which explains the benefits of mindful meditation and instructions on how to get the most out of the meditation sessions.
The company provides health insurance plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.