In response to the Pokémon GO craze, New York’s weight-loss wagering purveyor of corporate and team-based weight-loss challenges and financially induced diet contests for individuals, announced July 22 its newest cash prize-driven fitness challenge coined “Summertime Stepping.” The program uses monetary awards to promote fitness and reward participants who take more steps while playing the game, and otherwise, whether during work hours (at lunch breaks and other apropos opportunities) or on their personal time. Participants in the Summertime Stepping Challenge also receive motivational tips and support from former contestants from NBC’s Biggest Loser TV program.
“Game players are joining our new ‘Summertime Stepping Challenge’ as a way to get paid while playing,” says HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. “This initiative is a fantastic complement to our roster of evidence-based, highly effective team and personal fitness challenges—most of which leverage the power of ‘social norms feedback’ and other key behavioral economics principles.”
It’s been well publicized the extent to which Pokémon GO is prompting people to walk more, with one report underscoring that “millions of Pokémon Go users are suddenly getting real exercise while playing the game, which is done by walking around the real world with a smartphone” and that, as evidence of the increased activity, one fitness-tracking device purveyor found that wearers “who referenced ‘Pokémon Go’ on the device’s app took more steps [the weekend of July 9] than in the five weekends prior.” Specifically, 10,936 steps versus 6,063 taken the weekend before. This as other fitness apps also reported major increases in footsteps based on data analytics correlated with Pokémon GO dynamics.
Participants in HealthyWage’s Summertime Stepping Challenge will pay $30 each to participate, which is pooled in a collective “pot.” During registration, participants will connect their Fitness tracker, whether a Fitbit®, Jawbone®, Google®, Apple® or any other such device, to get a baseline step count. The goal of participants will be to increase their baseline steps by 20% during the challenge, which runs August 1-August 30, 2016. Each participant who hits their 20% goal will win the challenge and receives an equal share split of the money collected, less 25% that HealthyWage retains for administering the challenge.
Contestants who appeared on past seasons of NBC’s Biggest Loser TV program are providing motivational tips to help participants stay motivated and active throughout the challenge. As upwards of 13 former Biggest Loser contestants will participate in the initiative, participants can pick their favorite coach. HealthyWage will also award a prize to the top coach in the challenge—the person with the largest team.
Those interested in the HealthyWage Summertime Stepping Challenge can pre-register online at https://www.healthywage.com/steps/summertime-stepping.