A new concept gym uses behavioral economics to change how and when members pay to workout.
A new fitness concept developed by two Harvard economics students, Yifan Zhang and Geoff Oberhofer, leans heavily on behavioral economics to motivate its members to workout. The concept, Gym-Pact, employs what Zhang calls “motivational fees” — members pay more money when they do not exercise.
The students are trying to tackle a particular economic challenge: because gym fees are paid upfront, there is little future economic penalty for not working out. In effect, you’ve already paid the maximum economic penalty.
Gym-Pact addresses this issue by linking your economic penalty/reward to your weekly workout schedule. For example, members currently pay up to $25 per week when they fail to exercise at least three times and $75 for dropping out of the program. Conversely, members who hit the gym at least four times per week pay nothing.
Zhang and Oberhafer are currently using member feedback to better tailor future fee structures to meet a wide range of member goals. Among the first ideas: smaller penalties on a daily basis.
[via The Boston Globe]