This month marks two years since I joined Tivity Health as President and CEO. Due to the pandemic, June 2020 was filled with uncertainty for businesses across the U.S., and Tivity Health was no different. The company was quickly pivoting from primarily in-person fitness for SilverSneakers® members to a digital platform that would enable them to stay active from home. Why would I take on this new role during such a volatile time? I was well-aware of the power of the SilverSneakers brand and knew that we could do more to support seniors during the pandemic and beyond.
One of the first things I quickly learned is that SilverSneakers is a brand that members trust and recommend. Our NPS score – which represents the likelihood that a member will recommend the brand to a friend – is 83, significantly higher than many leading national brands. The top 25% of organizations have an NPS of 72 or higher. This acknowledges our expertise in senior health and well-being and our commitment to meet the evolving needs of seniors.
This year, SilverSneakers celebrates 30 incredible years of understanding the needs of older adults, dynamic fitness trends and the ever-changing healthcare industry. To celebrate the brand’s longevity and evolution, let’s look back to where it started.
SilverSneakers was founded in 1992 by Mary Swanson.
Mary Swanson was inspired to start a fitness program when her father survived a heart attack. Mary recognized the need for a fitness program designed specifically for older adults of all fitness levels. In 1992, SilverSneakers launched as a chair-based fitness program with 15 locations in Arizona. Today, the program has grown into a nationally recognized program serving 18 million eligible members in all 50 states.
Some of SilverSneakers most notable milestones include:
- In 2004, SilverSneakers grew from 15 partners in a dozen states to 41 partners in 29 states.
- From 2006 to 2008, the program developed a partnership with Medicare Advantage plans and successfully grew from 1,000 to over 10,000 fitness locations.
- In 2013, SilverSneakers reached over 10 million eligible members and 50 million visits.
- In 2015, the SilverSneakers FLEX Community, which offers over 80 types of classes as locations like community centers and parks, reached 1 million visits just two years after its initial launch.
- In 2018, SilverSneakers surpassed 100 million in-person visits.
- SilverSneakers began offering live with instructor virtual classes in 2020 and has since logged millions of virtual visits.
- In 2021, Tivity Health announced that participating Medicare Advantage plans would have access to a customizable network of more than 23,000 fitness locations.
- In 2022, Tivity Health continues to expand its virtual offerings to include fitness, social connection and mental enrichment.
SilverSneakers is a proven, trusted program that makes a difference in the lives of seniors and their families.
In the 2021 SilverSneakers Annual Member Survey , members shared just how impactful SilverSneakers has been on their mental and physical health:
- 88% of members say SilverSneakers has “improved my quality of life”
- 86% feel healthier because of SilverSneakers
- 52% “I have made new and valuable friendships”
- Depression among participants is 64% less prevalent than the CMS national benchmark.
In addition, a 2020 comprehensive study showed that total average healthcare expenses are reduced by 16% for SilverSneakers participants compared to non-participating Medicare Advantage members. The findings showed total annual average health expenses, including medical and pharmacy, to by $4,463 annually compared to $5,303 for non-participants.
This year commemorates SilverSneakers’ 30th Anniversary, and we invite you to join the celebration.
Over the next couple of months, we will host a series of celebratory events and activities to honor SilverSneakers’ rich history and steadfast growth. Visit https://www.silversneakers30.com/ , to learn more.
I am proud and thankful for our members, instructors, clients, partners and colleagues who have helped us to become a trusted leader in senior fitness. I’m grateful for the ability to lead such an impactful program. I look forward to celebrating not only my two year anniversary in 2022, but also three remarkable decades of SilverSneakers, and the bright future ahead.