People will exercise more if you bribe them

An interesting new study suggests people can be paid to get moving

People will exercise more if you bribe them

 

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania assigned people into four groups with the goal of each person reaching 7,000 steps a day.

Over the next 13 weeks, people in the first group got $1.40 for every day they reached their goal. 

People in the second group were offered entry into a lottery with a possible payoff of $100. 

While those in the third group were given $42 the first day of every month, with $1.40 deducted every day they failed to reach 7000 steps.

And finally the fourth group received only daily feedback about their performance with no actual reward.  

So what happened? Turns out money does talk as the fourth group achieved their daily target only 30 per cent of the time.

And the groups that were entered into a lottery or paid daily didn’t score much better with just a 35 per cent success rate. 

However, the people that were paid at the start of the month and risked daily deductions if they didn’t reach 7,000 steps had the highest success rate at almost 45 per cent.

According to lead author, Dr. Mitesh S. Patel, “there’s a presumption that tracking your activity will help you change your behaviour.” 

“But it typically doesn’t work unless it’s combined with behaviour change strategies,” he told the New York Times. “Our study shows that the design of the incentive is critical to its success.”

Want to squeeze some movement into your day? Get on your feet more with these simple little life-hacks. 

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