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Friendly competition and a financial incentive increases team exercise

(University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine) Would having your exercise performance compared to that of your peers motivate you do more? A new study suggests it might. And adding a financial incentive would only sweeten the deal even more. Comparing performance to average peers (the 50th percentile), and offering financial incentives was the most effective method for increasing physical activity among teams of employees, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The study shows that different combinations of social comparison feedback and financial incentives can lead to a significant difference in outcomes within workplace competitions...
The authors found that 95 percent of employees stayed engaged in the study even during the follow-up period and suggest this could be due in-part to the smartphone-based approach to data collection, since many people carry their phone with them wherever they go.
"Using behavioral economics approaches offers the potential of generating truly innovative approaches for promoting healthy behavior," said co-author Kevin G. Volpp, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine and Health Care Management and director of the Penn Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics. "This study highlights that social and financial-incentive based approaches can be combined to achieve better outcomes."
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