NEW YORK (CNN) – Employers want healthier employees and as a result, workplace wellness programs are hot!
According to a study published in the annals of internal medicine, now more than 80% of big companies are now offering some form of financial incentive to get their workers to participate. Looking at how such programs can be more effective, researchers gave nearly 300 people a 7-thousand step goal to keep up during a 13-week-challenge.
The study participants were broken up into groups. One got one dollar and forty cents for each day they hit the 7-thousand step goal. The second group’s participants were entered into a daily lottery, they could only win if they met their goal the day before. The third received $42 upfront each month with the caveat that participants lost one dollar and forty cents for each day they failed to meet the 7-thousand step goal.
So what did researchers find? The group that was threatened with losing money exercised more.
One physician involved with the study says it’s all how the reward is framed adding that our brains are wired to avoid losing things and we like the immediate gratification of getting the money upfront.