Can Money Help You Exercise?

Exploring Intensity

Can Money Help You Exercise?

Do you think you would exercise more if you were paid for it? These questions have come up before, and a new study looked at the efficacy of multiple payment plans to potentially compel people to workout more.

There were four groups, each one having to walk 7,000 steps a day. One group got $1.40 every day they hit the goal, while another group got another chance every successful day to enter a $100 lotto. The third group got a lump sum right away, $42 at the beginning of the month and would lose $1.40 every day they didn’t finish. Finally there was a control group that paid exactly zippy.

The results showed that really the only one that had any effect was the group that lost money with 45% of that group having successfully walked the steps necessary.

So what is the big takeaway here? Well, considering that even the most successful group wasn’t able to break a 50% success rate, money probably can’t help most people exercise. Sorry to break it to you, but it looks like you still need to remind yourself of the multitude of other mental and physical benefits that come from getting a good sweat.

But, maybe the stakes were too small. Perhaps a bet between friends of around $300 or $400 to see who can hit the gym the most or walk the furthest would provide adequate motivation.