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The Healthpoints proposition, or how many steps would you walk for miles?

I would walk 500 miles. And I would walk 500 more. But beyond that, probably not.

[Update: if anyone’s interested in getting a fitness band to take part in this challenge, a Milelion reader has very kindly arranged for a special 10% off on HPB app compatible trackers that you can access here until the end of March 2018. And no, we don’t earn anything from the link]

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An interesting topic came up in The Milelion’s Telegram Group last night. The Health Promotion Board has started an initiative called HealthHub that encourages Singaporeans to stop sitting at their computers all day planning multi-city award bookings and, you know, get out and do stuff.

There’s still some confusion on my end about HealthHub vs Healthy365 and the myriad of terms that government websites seem to like to bombard you with, but long story short, signing up for a HealthHub account and opening a HealthPoints account (you have to do it separately- opening a HealthHub account is needed to open a HealthPoints account but it’s not automatic) lets you earn rewards points for virtuous behaviour.

For a limited time, signing up for a Healthpoints account earns you 1,500 bonus Healthpoints (equivalent to a $10 voucher at selected merchants). This promotion was originally supposed to be valid for sign ups till 28 February (and indeed, the website still reflects that), but someone in the chat has sent over this correspondence with the customer service team that suggests the promotion is on till 7 March.

Credit: AlvinW

We’ve had people sign up since then and confirm that they got the 1,500 points. Again, you can earn Healthpoints for a whole range of activities, but the one that intrigued me the most was the linking of Healthpoints to the National Steps Challenge (NSC).

He’s impervious to bullets! And love…
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For the uninitiated, the NSC is an initiative trying to get Singaporeans to hit 10,000 steps each day (a number which, by the way, has absolutely no basis in science). You earn

  • 10 HP for 5,000 steps
  • 25 HP for 7,500 steps
  • 40 HP for 10,000 steps, the maximum you can earn per day

Healthpoints can be converted into Tap For More points, which in turn can be converted into Krisflyer miles. You’ll remember I covered this once upon a long time ago.

Think about it- you’re literally walking your way to miles. Here’s the working that’s going on in my head:

1 Healthpoint= 1 Tap For More Point= 0.43 Krisflyer miles

When you walk 10,000 steps in one day, you get 40 Healthpoints, which is 17.4 KF miles. That means its 575 steps to a KF mile, or in other words, each step is 0.00174 of a mile.

Now, the average stride of a man is 0.76m, and for a woman it’s 0.67m. So those 575 steps would be a distance of 437m for a man and 385m for a woman.  Still with me here?

Man: Walk 437m, earn 1 mile (1,609m). Multiplier effect: 3.7X

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Woman: Walk 385m, earn 1 mile (1,609m). Multiplier effect: 4.2X

Why I’m focusing on the multiplier effect is that I want to calculate exactly how far, in distance, you’d need to walk to earn the various awards. For example, it’s 88,000 miles in business class for a one way between Singapore and San Francisco. To earn that through walking, a man would have to walk 23,783 miles, and a woman 20,952 miles.

But because of the difference in stride length between a man and a woman, it’s probably the most fair to present the chart in terms of a harmonized measurement of steps.

The Krisflyer Award Chart in terms of steps

The above measurements are how many steps you’d need to walk, in millions, to get a one-way saver award to each of the following destinations. I could walk 4.3 million steps (which, because of the cap, would take me 430 days) for a one-way economy class ticket to Bali. Too bad I won’t be able to take advantage of the 50% off promo

The above working is purely hypothetical of course. In practice, all HealthPoints earned through the NSC will expire 30 June 2018, so you’d never accumulate enough for anything. Again, this is just a thought experiment- don’t nitpick my workings, I’m fragile and sensitive.

Seriously though, there are quite a few simple activities you can do to earn Healthpoints like sharing articles or ordering qualifying dishes when eating out (man, this is nudge theory gone mad). Those, together with the points you earn from walking, should put you in a position to get at least some value out of the program.

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Final point: should you redeem your Healthpoint for miles or vouchers? Well, 1,500 points gets you a $10 voucher, so 1 point is 0.67 cents. That same point would get you 0.43 of a mile, or 0.86 cents at a 2 cent valuation. It’s marginal, to me. I don’t think you can go wrong either way.

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SharkOscarPlaneSimplePhilinvisible Recent comment authors
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Why fly, if you can walk from SIN to SFO…

Jokes aside, one useful thing is that you can top up ezlink/FP cards from healthpoints. I have enough to put $20 on it.

BTW, on the app says healthpoints expire 31st of Dec. Where is the info about Jun 30?

Phil
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Phil

You can have HealthPoints autoconvert to tapformore upon expiry.
Not tested. Don’t taze me bro.

PlaneSimple
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PlaneSimple

What type of step counters are/are not supported?

Oscar
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Oscar

Put it on a dog and you will fly free forever

Shark
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Shark

Love your analysis!