Game-changers: MAN v FAT and Koa Health strive to transform men’s mental and physical health together with 71% uptake

Koa Health
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  • MAN v FAT partnered with Koa Health to offer their members a “player-led” approach to mental health via Koa’s flagship mental wellbeing app, Koa Foundations
  • Exceptional results include 71% uptake following launch and 31% monthly active usage with 9 out of 10 Koa Foundations activities marked useful

Boston, London, Barcelona 15, June 2023: Leading digital mental health provider, Koa Health, and 8,000-member men’s health community, MAN v FAT have spent the past 11 months working together to build a customized mental health strategy, including evidence-based mental wellbeing support to MAN v FAT members.

Social norms, a reluctance to talk and a tendency to downplay health symptoms more generally mean men are less likely to seek help for depression, anxiety and stressful life events. To make matters worse, men often face both self-stigma and social stigma when showing emotions like sadness and talking about anxiety, low mood, or stress.

“Smooth, friction-free access to mental health support is especially crucial for men, as studies show that men are more reluctant to seek help for mental health issues,” said Dr. Chuk Anyaegbuna, Head of Clinical Services, Koa Health, “Additionally, persistently high levels of stress and other mental health struggles are linked to physical health challenges such as weight changes, cardiac and immune system problems, trouble sleeping, and more.”

“We’re fighting hard in our community to normalize men’s challenges with mental health which is why raising the issue and providing support for us is so integral,” said Richard Crick, Head of MAN v FAT, “Having Koa Foundations as part of our player membership is important as it gives members a place to get self-help on topics such as anxiety, depression and issues with sleep. There’s no doubt that learning coping techniques for these issues through Koa’s app better equips them to take on their battle with fat, and win!”

“Mental health is integral to whole-body health,” said Jennifer Gendron, Chief Commercial Officer at Koa Health, “Common challenges such as anxious thoughts, job stress, and trouble sleeping impact physical and mental wellbeing. Together, MAN v FAT and Koa Health hope to equip men in the UK and around the world with the tools they need to take care of body and mind."

Through Koa Foundations, Koa Health’s clinically validated mental wellbeing app, MAN v FAT offers members access to self-guided and stigma-free digital-first mental health support via a range of quick but effective, person-focused activities that reinforce MAN v FAT’s health-first approach to whole-body wellbeing for men. Working in close collaboration, the teams at both organizations customized communications and built a strategic plan to boost mental health for MAN v FAT members, including incentives to maximize uptake and engagement. 

The partnership’s results have been exceptional, especially as compared to research into average engagement for digital health apps in a real-world environment, with 71% uptake among eligible members and 31% active monthly use. MAN v FAT members actively engaged with Koa Foundations, utilizing the full platform, accessing all of the modalities and marking 93% of activities useful. Activities to deal with stress and audios to improve sleep were among the most popular. This aligned with the top two reasons members cited for using the app, trouble sleeping and feeling stressed as well as the times of day they most frequently engaged with Foundations—at the end of the workday, and just before bed.

“Koa Foundations has been a fantastic addition to our MAN v FAT membership offer. The feedback we’ve had from members is really positive and it appears to have been beneficial for guys of all ages within the MAN v FAT program,” said Matt Hudson, Head of Marketing, MAN v FAT, “We’re looking forward to developing this relationship and ensuring our members make regular use of what’s on offer!”  



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About MAN v FAT

MAN v FAT has been helping men across the UK and Australia lose weight since 2014 through its online resources and real-life weight loss programs, including MAN v FAT Football, which combines weekly weigh-ins and small-sided league games with qualified referees, trophies and medals. Since the football program launched in 2016, more than 430,000lb have been shed collectively - equating to more than 40,000 footballs.

Initially a weight loss program, MAN v FAT has become a wide-ranging wellbeing offer for men of all ages.

About Koa Health

Koa Health is a leading digital provider of workplace mental health solutions, helping business leaders care for high-performing teams. Backed by investors including Telefónica, Ancora Finance Group and Wellington Partners, Koa Health’s solutions are comprehensive, credible and conclusive. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Koa Health has operations in Barcelona, the US and the UK. Koa Health partners with leading clinicians and academics including Massachusetts General Hospital, University College of London, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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