Another study, this one published in the March issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that cash incentives might inspire other healthy habits.
A team of researchers from RTI International in North Carolina asked 501 sedentary adults over the age of 50 what sorts of walking programs and incentives might prompt them to lace up their sneakers and start moving.
Simply by adding a theoretical offer of $9 a week, the researchers increased possible participation in a walking regimen by 31 percent.
"A number of exercise programs are structured around group activity," study author Derek Brown said in a statement. "This was not preferred by most. We did find, though, that money would increase participation."
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SOURCES: Kevin Volpp, M.D., Ph.D., staff physician, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, and director, Center for Health Incentives, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and associate professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Wharton School, Philadelphia; Thomas J. Glynn, Ph.D., director, cancer science and trends, and director, international cancer control, American Cancer Society, Washington, D.C.; Feb. 12, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine; March 2009, American Journal of Preventive Medicine
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