The threat of losing money was more effective in getting overweight and obese adult employees to exercise than was promising extra pay, according to results of a randomized, controlled trial published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers took 281 adult employees and randomized them to one of three groups: a gain incentive with promise of $1.40 given each day the goal of 7,000 steps per day was achieved; a lottery incentive; or a loss incentive of $1.40 per day after being given a lump sum upfront. At the end of the 13 week program, only the loss-incentive group, with a 45 percent rate of compliant days, had a significantly higher than did the control (which had a 35 percent rate). Researchers attribute the results to the principal of loss aversion, and stated that they were expecting these results.
Read more via MedPage Today here.