Real-World Rewards For Better Fitness [Future Of Health]

Financial, social and emotional perks are motivating people to make better health choices.

We all know that exercise and a balanced diet are the key to a healthy lifestyle, but knowing this fact alone isn’t enough to motivate us to get our blood pumping. Thanks to activity-tracking devices, we’re now more able than ever to track the key metrics that affect our health, and health care providers are taking note.

In our Future of Health report, PSFK Labs has identified Incentivized Wellness as a trend to watch, where emotional and financial rewards are helping replace people’s unhealthy behaviors with healthy living practices. Programs from healthcare providers, employers and private companies alike are encouraging people to be proactive about their own health, and are recognizing their efforts with enticing rewards.

Continue reading below to see examples of how companies are using a rewards-based model to encourage healthy behaviors.

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Eliminating any pretense, DietBetter is a social dieting game that incentivizes members to lose weight by simply providing them with cash rewards. People can place bets on their weight loss, earning money if they win and losing money if they fail to reach their goals. The platform features two main weight-loss programs: the Kickstarter, where members attempt to lose 4% of their total body weight in four weeks, and the Transformer, a longer-term program where users pledge to lose 10% in six months. In 2013 alone, $3 million was paid out to winners, 500,000 pounds were lost in total by all players, and 96% of them lost weight.

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Silicon Valley-based Movimento offers smartphone users a mobile game that enables them to see all of their fitness data in one place and compete with friends. By connecting their Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand or Jawbone UP bracelets to the app, members can set challenges for themselves or their friends to hold each other accountable for achieving their fitness goals. This gamification platform investigates the ways in which healthcare providers could challenge their patients to make healthier life changes, and in turn lower their health insurance rates.

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U.S. pharmacy chain Walgreens has implemented a new loyalty program that rewards physical activity with points that go toward money off  in-store purchases. Using their fitness-tracking devices, members can log their daily physical activities onto the Steps With Balance Rewards Program website and mobile app. Customers earn rewards points that lead to real discounts on Walgreens’ products, and as of the end of 2013, there were over 1 million active members working towards healthier goals.

The Incentivized Wellness trend is part of a larger theme called Behavioral Nudge, where new tools and incentive systems are promoting a more proactive model of health by helping people better track and understand their behaviors and encouraging them to make healthier lifestyle choices over time.

With the help of our partner Boehringer IngelheimPSFK Labs has released the latest Future of Health Report, which highlights the four major themes and 13 emerging trends shaping the evolving global landscape of healthcare. To see more insights and thoughts on the Future of Health visit the PSFK page.

Contributed by: Rachel Oliner

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