If you thought fitness trackers like Apple Watches and Michael Kors’ Activity Tracker Bracelets were a fad that’s sure to pass faster than you can climb seven flights of stairs during your lunch break, you may want to think again. Not only are health-conscious individuals rarely caught without one strapped to their wrists nowadays, but a recent Duke Medical School study seems to confirm that being offered a financial incentive to reach a fitness goal tracked by a wearable may just be the next big thing to do.
Up until now, the rewards of attaining a fitness goal (other than becoming healthier, of course) were somewhat limited to things like your best friend noticing you’ve shed a few pounds or the buzz of your Fitbit Super Watch telling you you’ve finally eaten enough protein. But according to the recent Duke study, the rewards of being fit have great potential to change, particularly when financial bonuses are added to the equation.
In 2016, researchers from Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore conducted a study in which 800 participants, ranging in age from 21 to 65, were divided into four groups. Each group was given one year to attain fitness goals that were monitored and tracked by wearable devices. After six months, only the group that was incentivized with monetary rewards showed any improvements in health and fitness. In a step-by-step comparison, the average daily step count for participants in the cash reward group was 11,010, whereas the daily average for the group rewarded with non-monetary donations was 9,280, and the group not incentivized with anything was 8,550.
However, after 12 months, the cash group eventually fell behind the others (yes, they even fell behind the group that wasn’t offered so much as a free cup of coffee.) But researchers still found the groups’ success rate during the first half of the study compelling and feel it still provides tantalizing evidence that being offered money to get healthy may have its own unique motivating benefits.
With this in mind, parents who want their children to eat less candy and spend more time being active may want to consider offering their children a cash incentive to reach fitness goals tracked by a wearable device. Along with exercise goals, parents can also add in something delicious from our ThinAdventure™ product line, like our ThinAdventure™ Chocolate Cupcakes to help their children learn healthier eating habits while meeting their fitness goals. With chocolate cupcakes and money as the prize, what child wouldn’t want to win?
Also, if you’re a manager or work in the Human Resources field, adding a corporate wellness challenge in which employees receive cash bonuses for meeting fitness goals tracked by wearable devices can help boost morale, increase productivity, and can even help to lower the cost of health insurance for both your employer and your employees.
So go ahead, feel free to dangle those dollar bills in front of someone who needs to get healthy like a carrot on string (or in our case, a Carrot Cupcake.)