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Incentives including cash helped people take more steps

Incentives including cash helped people take more steps


People who were given incentives to exercise more for a year, including daily feedback and cash rewards, increased their daily step count by 1,500 steps (about three-quarters of a mile). According to a study published in the journal Circulation. They also added about 40 minutes of moderate exercise to their weekly activity routine.

The study involved 1,062 participants, with an average age of 67, who were at higher-than-average risk. cardiovascular disease Those who were encouraged to be more active. Before the study, all participants averaged about 5,000 steps (2.4 miles) a day.

They were given wearable devices trace their footsteps They were then randomly assigned to one of four groups. Three involved incentives (monetary or behavioral), and one was a control group that simply received a daily message on a tracker about members' step counts.

One of the three incentive groups was game-oriented, where participants earned points and could keep or lose points by meeting or not meeting step goals. A trophy awaited the person with the highest score at the end of the study. The participant in the financial incentive group received $14 per week, but he lost $2 for each day he did not meet his step goal. Participants in the fourth group were eligible to receive both games and financial incentives.

Overall, people in the gaming and money group increased their step count the most and maintained their increase in physical activity for at least six months after the one-year study ended.

The researchers also associated increased activity in participants with a 10 percent lower risk of cardiovascular-related death. Researchers say people who want to exercise more can use exercise apps that provide reminders or collaborate with friends and family to create games and financial scenarios to help them achieve their personal health goals. It is possible that the method of this study could be imitated by improving the

“Even moderate exercise can significantly reduce cardiovascular risk, so finding low-cost ways to help people stay active and maintain at-home fitness programs is a huge win for public health.” said the National Institutes of Health, which funded the. the study noted in a statement.

This article is part of the Post's “Big Number” series, which briefly examines the statistical aspects of health issues. Additional information and related research is available via hyperlinks.




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