HPB x Fitbit’s Live Healthy SG: Is it worth signing up for a 'free' Fitbit?

PHOTO: Fitbit
Covid-19 is truly the bane of our lives — our favourite National Steps Challenge Season 6 is cancelled.
 
Since the National Steps Challenge won’t make a comeback this year, the Health Promotion Board has come up Live Healthy and Lumihealth, two fitness programmes to help  Singaporeans tackle our WFH weight gain

Let’s dive in to see if we can score a free Fitbit or HPB vouchers this time round.

HPB’s “free” Fitbit programme: Live Healthy SG

The HPB has collaborated with Fitbit to come up with Live Healthy SG, which is sort of like the National Steps Challenge but with a Fitbit instead of a no-brand steps tracker.

Participants will need to commit to one year of Fitbit Premium in order to get a free Fitbit. 

When paired with a Fitbit, Fitbit Premium acts like a sort of personal trainer on your wrist. You get access to personalised health/fitness insights and fitness programmes customised to you. 

Supposedly, these let you achieve better outcomes in the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition and emotional wellbeing.

The only caveat? Your data will be shared with HPB. (Don’t worry, HPB is not going to make you knock it down if you eat a large plate of char kway teow.) You can choose to share anonymously or identify yourself by linking your SingPass with your Fitbit account.

Hm… is this “free” HPB Fitbit really free?

Okay, let’s be honest here. Most of us are more keen on getting a free Fitbit than helping HPB hit its healthy population KPIs. So is it really free?

Well, no. Because you have to sign up for Fitbit Premium ($9.99 a month) for a year, so it’ll cost you about $120 at least. After committing to Premium, you can either get a free Fitbit Inspire HR or top up for one of the fancier models.

PHOTO: Live Healthy SG

Here’s how much you’ll end up spending.

  Total cost (Live Healthy SG) Retail Price Savings
Fitbit Inspire HR $120 $158 $38
Fitbit Charge 4 $120 + $118 top up = $238 $238 None
Fitbit Versa Lite Edition $119.88 + $128 top up = $248 $248 None
Fitbit Versa 2 $119.88 + $198 top up = $318 $318 None

Sorry to disappoint you but you are not really getting a Fitbit from HPB  for free.

The most worthwhile model to get is the Fitbit Inspire HR as you actually get a 24 per cent discount via HPB. For the other models, you don’t save anything.

Is Fitbit Premium worth it?

Here’s a table showing what you get with regular Fitbit (free) vs Fitbit Premium ($9.99/month).

  Regular Fitbit Premium
Mindfulness Yes Yes
Wellness Report No Yes
Sleep No Yes
Exercise Yes Yes
Heart Rate Yes Yes
Hourly Steps Yes Yes
Menstruation Health Yes Yes
Weight  Yes Yes
Water Count Yes Yes
Food Intake Yes Yes
Video Workout Limited Yes
Meditation Guide Limited Yes
Healthy habits programme Yes Yes
Custom challenges for you and your friends Limited Yes

The only real difference between Fitbit and Fitbit Premium is an additional sleep analysis and wellness report. 

  • Sleep analysis looks at your breathing rate, heart rate variability and resting heart rate.
  • The wellness report includes a 30-day, 3-month, 6-month, 1-year report on your heart rate, weight, activity, sleep and menstrual cycle and more.

These detailed health reports may not mean much to you and me, but they’re meant to be shared with your healthcare professional. If all you need is a basic idea of your fitness, then both reports are probably unnecessary.

Fitbit Premium also gives you more access to video workouts and guided meditations, but if you are a cheapskate like us, you probably know how to find free videos on Youtube.

Overall, we’d say Fitbit Premium is for fitness beginners who want to pay a price for discipline.  You can sign up for a free 90-day trial of Fitbit Premium if you’re still on the fence.

How to redeem your free HPB Fitbit?

  1. Register online at Live Healthy SG programme page
  2. Choose to link your Fitbit and SingPass accounts
  3. Go to Fitbit store and choose your Fitbit device bundle
  4. After you make your purchase, tap Proceed to Fitbit App.
  5. Tap Learn More on the Healthy Population notification at the top to Read More about the Live Healthy SG program.
  6. Receive your Fitbit device via mail and set it up in the Fitbit app.

If you are keen on getting a Fitbit but you don’t want the government to track the laksa that you had, we found discounted Fitbit Inspire HRs ranging from $100.90 to $118 on iShopChangi, Lazada, Courts and Harvey Norman.

Bonus: HPB x Apple Watch Lumihealth programme

Another HPB programme that’s maybe a little more fun than Live Healthy SG is Lumihealth. 

Unfortunately, you need to be rich to use Lumihealth, because it only works with an Apple Watch, which costs at least $299.

If you’ve ever played PokemonGO while wearing your HPB steps tracker to chalk up points, Lumihealth is basically the atas version of that.

In the Lumihealth game, instead of catching Pokemons, you are helping an intergalactic explorer get back home through your weekly activity goals. You can earn rewards worth up to $380 over the two-year duration of the program. 

Also, you are only allowed to participate in one programme: It’s either National Steps Challenge or Lumihealth. Tough luck for penny pinchers out there!

Lumihealth vs LiveHealthy SG: Which is better?

  HPB x Fitbit: Live Healthy SG HPB x Apple Watch: Lumihealth
Basic device cost $120 $299
Operating system iOS and android iOS
Can earn HPB voucher? Not for now, only in 2021 Yes, up to $380

Hm… Call us gian png but the main reason we want to get one of these watches is to earn HPB vouchers. No voucher, no talk.

Live Healthy SG currently does not offer HPB vouchers as rewards. However, you can use your Live Healthy SG Fitbit to participate in the next season of the National Steps Challenge in 2021 to earn HPB vouchers.

Whereas for Lumihealth, that’s not the case. Even if you deduct the cost of your Apple Watch, you could earn up to $81 worth of free vouchers. 

But if you genuinely want to have a healthier lifestyle at a lower cost, and you are okay to miss out earning vouchers this year, then by all means go for the cheaper Live Healthy SG and get a “free” Fitbit.

This article was first published in MoneySmart.