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Al Futtaim Willis (AFW) gets its clients moving during the Covid 19 lockdown.

05-22-2020 08:55 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: Al Futtaim Willis Co. LLC

AFW Steps Challengers walked over 6.5 million steps in under two weeks

AFW Steps Challengers walked over 6.5 million steps in under two weeks

Al Futtaim Willis (AFW) gets its clients moving during the Covid 19 lockdown. AFW, HR Tech provider Rewardz and Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) come together to create The AFW steps challenge. Participants walk over 6.5 million steps in two weeks!
Dubai, 18 May 2020

Health during lockdown really matters to participants

o 145 participants walked over 6.5 million steps
o Equivalent of walking the London Marathon 108 times

Source: AFW Steps Challenge User Data

As the Covid lockdown restricted residents' ability to leave their households AFW stepped up to try and encourage its insured members to keep fit during the lockdown. On top of various digital wellness and wellbeing initiatives the company coordinated with its business partners to run a digital competition encouraging fitness within the confines of the house.

AFW knows all too well how sedentary lifestyle choices can impact your health, as one of the region's largest medical insurance brokers they get to see the data first hand. It is well documented that living a sedentary lifestyle increases the chances of developing a number of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD's). We hear a lot that "sitting is the new smoking."

The fact of the matter is that it's our lifestyles that are very often making us unwell and it's only by making changes at this level that we can see real health benefits for individuals and eventually, dramatic savings for businesses.

"A large percentage of NCDs (that's non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease, obesity and cardiovascular disease) are preventable through the reduction of their four main behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diet." Source: The World Health Organisation (WHO)

AFW has long been a proponent in the promotion of healthy lifestyles amongst its clients (some of the largest employers in the region). AFW recommend corporations involvement in their employees' health and wellbeing not only for the societal benefits but also because a healthy and engaged workforce takes less time off sick and works more efficiently, resulting in a double whammy benefit of increasing top line revenues and decreasing bottom line expenses.

Let's face it, it's very difficult for us humans to take care of ourselves. There are too many temptations out there - in the form of foods that go to work on the pleasure centres of our brain, the cigarette that comes with a 15-minute break away from the workstation, the couch-Netflix combo that invites us to forego that workout for less strenuous pursuits, and so on.

It in fact presents a real problem for firms looking to achieve a positive impact through corporate wellness programmes. And the numbers tell the story: While 85 per cent of large-scale employers offer wellness initiatives of some description to their employees, a recent Gallup poll out of the United States revealed that only 40 per cent of staff actually participate (a number believed to be far lower here in the UAE and Gulf region).

Al Futtaim Willis will be seeking input from key industry observers during a Web Discussion, which will take place via Webex in late July 2020, entitled Corporate Engagement problems in the UAE, how to motivate employees during a pandemic. The participants will include Jaya Maru, Co-founder and CEO Middle East Rewardz and Senior corporate executives who are responsible for buying health insurance for their companies along with regional thought leaders on the subject.

The Panel Discussion will be wide-ranging and based on a joint survey conducted by AFW and Rewardz looking at key drivers for employee wellbeing and engagement in current times. Likely topics include the need for greater involvement of companies in the health and lifestyle choices of its employees, communication improvements of large employers towards their staff on benefits costs, and insights into corporate strategies that have worked in other regions that may also work in the UAE.

Media contact

Janek Zawadzki | Marketing & Communications Manager | Al Futtaim Willis Co. LLC
Mobile: +971 56 990 8462 | Direct dial: +971 4 376 0234 | Email:

Office 1203 Festival Tower, Dubai Festival City

About Al Futtaim Willis

Al Futtaim Willis is a commercial insurance broker and consultant that has been operating within the UAE since 1976. It is a joint venture company between Al Futtaim Services Co. LLC and Willis Group Limited (an associate company of Willis Towers Watson PLC). With roots dating back to 1828, Willis Towers Watson has more than 45,000 employees in over 140 countries.

About Rewardz

Headquartered in Singapore, Rewardz expanded to UAE in 2015 and is among the largest players and experts in digital engagement and incentives across Asia. It offers cloud-based mobile and web platforms as well as plug-in solutions. Having served over 150 clients and 250,000 users in 19 countries, Rewardz remains focused on its vision of building one-stop engagement and wellness platforms (CERRA and Flabuless) and flexible benefits solutions complemented by a rich digital reward marketplace to engage employees, incentivise sales team or build customer loyalty, Rewardz was recognised as the HR Tech Provider of the Year in the Future Workplace Awards 2018.

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