What you need to know
Wherever you are on your journey to get healthier, the Virgin Pulse healthy lifestyle program can help.
You can earn Virgin Pulse points each quarter by learning about your own health status, engaging in healthy habits, and being active.
If you are enrolled in a Sandia medical plan, you and your spouse can each earn up to $300 in health reimbursement account (HRA) or health savings account (HSA) funding through your quarterly Virgin Pulse points and by completing a Health Action Plan during the year.
Eligibility and Enrollment
All employees and spouses are eligible to participate in the Virgin Pulse program; only those on a Sandia Health Plan are eligible to earn HRA/HSA dollars.
Two weeks after you enroll in Sandia medical coverage as a new hire, you and your enrolled spouse are eligible to join Virgin Pulse.
Current employees can join Virgin Pulse at any time.
Contract staff can join as friends of Sandia employees, and participate in activities and challenges (with no points earned).
Enroll through Virgin Pulse and follow the sign-up instructions.
Do you like a challenge?
You can earn Virgin Pulse points by joining one of Sandia’s Health Action Plans. You can also participate in any of the challenges showing on your Virgin Pulse dashboard or create your own.
Visit Sandia’s Virgin Pulse site and follow the sign-up instructions.
Place the Virgin Pulse pedometer/tracker in your shopping cart. If eligible, you will receive a credit for the tracker upon checkout. You are eligible for a new pedometer every 18 months, but you can always purchase a replacement sooner.
Once you are a Virgin Pulse member, log in to your account by selecting Sign In at the top of your screen. From there, you can access your Virgin Pulse dashboard to set goals, monitor your progress, challenge others, and watch your points add up.
Take your Virgin Pulse program on the go. Download the app (App Store or Google Play) and log in using the same username and password you set up when you enrolled.
Wear it to track your activity while you walk, run, bike, sleep, or engage in any activity that you enjoy. Upload your steps and enter your activities into the Virgin Pulse dashboard.
- Track your healthy habits and earn points! You earn points for keeping track of your healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in stress-reduction activities.
- Redeem your Virgin Pulse points. Your points are accumulated and banked for use with your health reimbursement account (HRA).
Virgin Pulse Dashboard
You will use the Virgin Pulse dashboard to track your activities and earnings. You can set your goals, monitor your progress, and track your points. You can also use the platform to join your fellow Sandians in healthy activities and challenges.
Through the Virgin Pulse platform, you can:
- Select public and private profile options
- Search for and add other Sandia Virgin Pulse members as friends
- Set up personal challenges with your friends
- Compare your activity levels with your friends’ levels
- Create and join public and private groups (including corporate-endorsed groups such as Step It Up)
- Set up personal challenges with existing groups
You can invite up to 10 friends and family members to join you on your Virgin Pulse wellness journey – from setting common interests to tracking healthy habits to inviting them to some the challenges you participate in.
When using the Virgin Pulse platform, simply choose the Friends tab under Social and Add Friends. You’ll need enter each individual’s name and email address. They can get started from there.
With your Virgin Pulse platform newsfeed, you can receive and share program-specific information with friends and get real-time updates on your and your friends’ activities to help keep you motivated.
Virgin Pulse Social Networking is a closed network. It is only accessible to Sandia program participants who first have to meet Sandia’s predetermined eligibility requirements for enrollment.
When setting up your profile, make sure to select Edit Privacy Setting to choose what you want to share with others. You are allowed to use your Sandia email to set up your program.
In addition to tracking steps on your pedometer, you can use the online journal to track activities such as swimming, yoga, and weight training. You can enter these activities online yourself.
To see a summary of your current quarter’s earnings, log in to your Virgin Pulse account, go to the Home tab and scroll to Rewards.
If you participate in an Employee Health Services event (for example, a one-on-one appointment or class), these activities will show on your statement only in the month they occurred.
Credit for Employee Health Services activities takes a minimum of two weeks from completion of the activity to register on your account.
Virgin Pulse HealthZone Kiosks
Virgin Pulse HealthZone kiosks are computer stations on campus (and at a few offsite locations) that provide a secure and private way to measure your body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure.
You can earn Virgin Pulse points when you use the kiosks to measure your numbers at least once a quarter, and when your numbers are either improved or optimal over time.
Now you can use Sandia Maps to find a HealthZone kiosk onsite at our New Mexico and California campuses! Just enter Virgin Health Kiosk in the search box.
You can also find kiosks at the following offsite locations:
- Carlsbad NPHA, Room 201A
- Pantex Building 11-59
- Washington, D.C. office
Ways to Earn Virgin Pulse Points
You and your spouse can each earn up to $75 per quarter in HRA or HSA funds by earning 10,000 or more Virgin Pulse points during the allotted time frame.
This means you can receive up to $300 in HRA or HSA contributions for the next calendar year.
The time frames in which you can earn quarterly points are:
- Quarter 1: Jan. 1 – March 31
- Quarter 2: April 1 – June 30
- Quarter 3: July 1 – Sept. 30
- Quarter 4: Oct. 1 – Dec. 31
There are a number of different ways to earn Virgin Pulse points, summarized below. Check out the handout on How to Earn Virgin Pulse Points.
First, complete Sandia’s know your numbers biometric screening through the Sandia medical clinic. Then, use your numbers to take the confidential, 15-minute Virgin Pulse health assessment online or through the app to assess your current health. Completing the health assessment by Oct. 31 adds $100 to your HRA or HSA for the next calendar year.
Track your monthly measurements for weight and/or blood pressure (up to 500 points/month) by entering them yourself in your Virgin Pulse account, or visit a HealthZone kiosk for validated measurements (500 points/month).
Participate in a Health Action Plan with Employee Health Services to earn points for your appointments, classes, and prescribed activities.
Track activities in your Virgin Pulse account! The more you move, the more points you earn. Your Virgin Pulse pedometer calculates active minutes when you work harder than usual.
Virgin Pulse points you can earn for active minutes per day:
- 1,000 steps – 10 points (max 140 points per day)
- 15 or more active minutes – 70 points
- 30 or more active minutes – 100 points
- 45 or more active minutes – 140 points
You can earn additional points each month:
- Track steps for 10 days in a month – 300 points
- Track steps for 20 days in a month – 500 points
- 7,000 steps for 20 days in a month – 400 points
- 10,000 steps for 20 days in a month – 500 points
Learn more about the Virgin Pulse GoZone pedometer>>
Learn more about tracking your steps>>
Keep track of your sleep with the Sleep Time app available from the App Store or Google Play or via your health tracker (Fitbit, Garmin, MaxBuzz BT). Then track your Virgin Pulse points earned:
- Per day: Validated sleep tracking (20 points); sleeping 7+ hours per night (50 points); manual sleep track tracking (10 points).
- Per month: Tracking sleep 10 days in a month (200 points); tracking sleep 20 days in a month (300 points); tracking 7+ hours sleep for 20 days in a month (300 points)
- Quarterly: Choose your Sleep Guide profile (250 points).
Complete an online non-smoking agreement on the Virgin Pulse website and earn 3,000 Virgin Pulse points once a year.
Track your fitness with a pedometer and what you eat with the MyFitnessPal.
- Per day: Daily calorie tracking through MyFitnessPal (20 points); browse healthy recipes (10 points)
- Per week: Favorite recipe (10 points); add recipe to grocery list (10 points)
- Per month: Track calories 10 days a month (200 points); track calories 20 days in a month (300 points)
- Per quarter: Choose a nutrition profile (250 points)
- One time: Connect a calorie tracker (MyFitness Pal) (100 points)
Are you fit enough to test out of earning Virgin Pulse points? Complete a fitness test out each quarter to earn 4,500 Virgin Pulse points for the time period.
Schedule a fitness assessment with Sandia fitness specialist, and let them know you want to complete your Virgin Pulse points test out.
Criteria to test out include the following:
- Achieve at least an above-average VO2 score (60th percentile or higher)
- Achieve at least two of the following four age/gender-dependent criteria:
- At least above-average strength score (based on modified pushup)
- At least above-average percent body fat (60th percentile or better)
- A two or three on active straight-leg raise (flexibility/range of motion test)
- A two or three on shoulder mobility (flexibility/range of motion test)
Reasonable Alternatives to Earning Points (ADA)
Sandia and Virgin Pulse recognize that it may be difficult for some individuals to fully participate and earn points in the program due to medical conditions or disabilities.
To ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to earn points and benefit from the program, the following members are provided reasonable alternatives to earn the minimum standard of Virgin Pulse points:
- Members who do not meet or are unable to achieve compliance with a health program due to a current or chronic medical condition or other health factor
- Members who are unable to take measurements and/or track their activity because of a disability
The reasonable alternative complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ACA (Affordable Care Act) regulations for Incentives for Nondiscriminatory Wellness Programs.
- Have your physician complete the physician verification form and fax it back to the Virgin Pulse call center. The form can only be faxed or mailed in order to be HIPPA compliant. The fax number is 1-888-501-6442. Only the member will be informed once the form is approved, also due to being HIPPA compliant.
- Upon receiving the completed physician form, a call center operator will input the rules for the reasonable alternative into your profile.
- Submit your approved physician form to the Preventive Health Program Coordinator at 505-844-4091 (fax), or MS10192. After your request is received and processed, 6,000 Virgin Pulse points will be distributed to your account on a quarterly basis. Contact HR Solutions for details.
If you have a medical condition or disability that prevents you from performing or completing a wellness program activity, you should complete the process below to receive the appropriate number of points under the reasonable alternative:
- If you are unable to take measurements and/or track physical activity because of a disability, you can self-enter your activity and measurements online, earning the equivalent points as if the data had been captured by a validated activity or measurement tracker.
- Rewards for participating in a wellness program are available to all eligible employees. If you think you might be unable to meet a standard for a reward under this wellness program, you might qualify for an opportunity to earn the same reward by different means. Contact Virgin Pulse at 888-671-9395, and they will work with you to provide a reasonable alternative if appropriate. The maximum number of points that you can earn through activity is 14,000 steps or 140 points per day. The maximum number of points that you can earn through self-tracking is three trackers or 30 points per day.
- If you cannot take health measurements, you will be allowed to self-report all three measurements online, earning the same points per quarter as if you had visited a HealthZone kiosk and had ideal or improved measurements.
Virgin Pulse Apps and Devices
Virgin Pulse offers apps and devices to help you track and manage your health while earning Virgin Pulse points, which can turn into funds for your HRA.
The Virgin Pulse app makes it easy to track your healthy habits while you’re on the go using your smartphone or other device. You can add friends, add workouts, and see an expanded view of the rewards you’ve earned and how to earn more.
To download the Virgin Pulse app, visit the App Store or Google Play.
You can earn Virgin Pulse points by racking up steps or active minutes, tracking sleep and habits, and much more.
The Virgin Pulse GoZone keeps track of your activity, calculating active minutes when you work harder than usual. The Virgin Pulse GoZone pedometer is the only approved device for use in Sandia Limited Areas. While the GoZone is no longer available in the Virgin Pulse store, you may still purchase this device by connecting with Virgin Pulse customer service.
You are responsible for checking the most up-to-date security information on personal electronic devices and apps. Visit the Security Connection for more details.
The Virgin Pulse Max Buzz BT tracks steps, sleep, calories burned, distance, and active minutes. Max Buzz™ also sends you text notifications and applause.
Sandia offers a device subsidy of $28.99 ($24.99 + $4 shipping) toward any device in the Virgin Pulse store available every 18 months. The device subsidy can only be used for fitness tracking devices (no other products). The GoZone and Max Buzz are both covered by this subsidy; however, the GoZone is the only pedometer deemed acceptable for use in Sandia’s limited and closed areas.
You can also enable your existing health tracker (such as Fitbit, Garmin, Apple, Azumio, Google Fit, Android, etc.) to your Virgin Pulse account. Please note that these devices are not discounted by Sandia and are not approved for use in Sandia Limited Areas.
Note: If you have questions about the Virgin Pulse pedometer or website, please contact Virgin Pulse; do not call Sandia’s Corporate Computing Help Desk (CCHD).
Bonus Wellness Apps
Together, Sandia and Virgin Pulse offer you additional wellness apps that work with your Virgin Pulse membership:
Track your calories and maintain your daily caloric budget. With a journaling tool like MyFitnessPal, you can lose up to double the weight than if you weren’t using a food diary.
Log your meals into MyFitnessPal, and through Virgin Pulse, MyFitnessPal will subtract calories burned and calculate how many calories you have left for the day. MyFitnessPal also tracks macronutrients like protein, carbs, sodium, and sugar.
To access MyFitnessPal, download the MyFitnessPal app from the App Store or Google Play and create an account.
Integrate with Virgin Pulse by selecting MyFitnessPal on the Devices and Apps page and clicking Connect.
Use Virgin Pulse’s sleep guide to track your bedtime routine and nightly sleep, and learn how to get better zzzzz’s.
- Step 1: Tell us how you want to improve your sleep.
- Step 2: Decide which sleep habits to work on. We’ll recommend a few research-based habits that improve sleep. You’ll get rewarded for trying them out and tracking what you do.
- Step 3: Make a realistic sleep goal. Research recommends 7 to 9 hours, but most of us don’t even get close to that.
- Step 4: Set up your sleep tracker. You can track your sleep using Max BuzzTM Fitbit, Azumio, Garmin, Misfit, Striiv, or Withings. Decide which one you’ll use to help you snooze.
Virgin Pulse partnered with RethinkCare (formerly known as Whil) to create a best-in-class, integrated experience to help improve resilience, mindfulness, and emotional intelligence and to reduce stress.
RethinkCare has something for everyone to help you create daily success routines – whether you want to work on your anxiety, stress, relationship skills, productivity, sleep, workplace safety, or yoga – it’s all here.
RethinkCare features the largest training library for mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It offers personalized, goal-based training covering 11 aspects of well-being, totaling more than 250 programs and 1,800 micro-learning sessions via video and audio tutorials in a host of different areas.
To access RethinkCare, download the app from the App Store or Google Play. After this one-time download, you will be able to access Rethink Care via your Virgin Pulse mobile app or website.
Click here to see upcoming webinars offered by RethinkCare.
Access virtual fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes with Wellbeats. No matter your age, level, ability, or interest, you can choose what fits your lifestyle.
- 1,000+ fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness classes led by a team of certified, friendly instructors
- 30+ goal-based programs
- 70+ healthy recipes
- Track your progress and receive personal recommendations
- Schedule classes in advance and invite others to join
- Receive automated reminders to keep you on track
- Log into your Virgin Pulse account on a desktop or browser
- Select “Benefits”
- Search “Wellbeats” and select any of the Wellbeats options
- Select “Start Now”
Check out this guide for more details.
Use the Sleep Time by Azumio app to track your sleep trends. Features a sleep phase alarm clock, sleep analyzer, and soundscapes to help you fall asleep.
Sleep Time by Azumio app available from the App Store or Google Play or via your health tracker (Fitbit, Garmin, MaxBuzz BT). Go to the Devices and Apps section of your VP account, find the app, and click the connect button to link your accounts.
Upon Your Retirement
If you are an active employee enrolled in a Sandia medical plan, any Virgin Pulse points you earn this calendar year typically apply to HRA funding for the next calendar year.
If you retire this calendar year, you will not be eligible for the additional HRA funding next year.
If you retire next calendar year (after Jan. 1), the HRA funds awarded to you on Jan. 1 will move with you to any PreMedicare Sandia medical plan that you enroll in. If you move to a Medicare plan, you will lose the HRA funds, as there is no HRA available with a Medicare plan.
Upon your retirement, you cannot continue with Sandia’s Virgin Pulse program.
However, you will have the opportunity to join the non-Sandia Virgin Pulse program and be able to continue using your same pedometer.
When you become ineligible for the Virgin Pulse program for any reason, including retirement, you will receive an email from Virgin Pulse explaining that your Sandia program has been cancelled. You then continue to have 30 days of full membership, after which time you will receive an email and pop-up on your next login attempt alerting you to enroll in the non-Sandia Virgin Pulse program for $2.75 per month.
The Virgin Pulse enrollment fee does not qualify as an eligible expense for reimbursement under your healthcare flexible spending account (FSA).
Your Data Privacy
Through this contractual business agreement with Virgin Pulse, Sandia and Employee Health Services are able to ensure your privacy. Your information is held in confidence by Virgin Pulse and Employee Health Services, and will only be used in an aggregate, anonymous form for reporting participation activity.
Contacts and Resources
Virgin Pulse Customer Service and Technical Support
8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday
Getting Started video
Complete your health assessment
In less than 30 minutes you can receive an insightful report on your health status and potential health risks. Knowing your status is the first step in improving your health!