Do you share your fitness journey on social media? I do. I share the good and bad, and have found a tribe of like-minded folks who support and share as well. My feed is full of people at all stages of the fitness journey and it helps me keep motivated and focused. Note: I compete with myself and see other’s journeys as theirs alone. My progress is mine and where I am is directly related to me and former versions of me.
Support and challenge groups are not new, but a new type of challenge is on the rise. If you follow fitness accounts on social media, you’re sure to run across calls for challenges or bets that award prizes to the biggest loser. Some challenges call for pledges of $5, $10, $25 or more and the winners get to split the pot at challenge end. I haven’t participated in this sort of challenge, but they are many. Studies show that incentive-based challenges may increase motivation and success. A Mayo Clinic study on “Individual- Versus Group-Based Financial Incentives for Weight Loss” not only found that “sustained weight loss can be achieved by financial incentives” and that “financial incentives can improve results, and improve compliance and adherence,” but lead author, Jeffrey T. Kullgren, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., also cited the advantages of social dynamics for employers offering such awards to help control health care costs while also improving the health of employees, noting, “We found that these incentives were substantially more powerful when delivered in groups…” The study concluded that “A group-based financial incentive was more effective than an individual incentive.” A Brown University suggests that shedding pounds can have a “contagious” ripple effect and concluded that social networks and teamwork play a significant role in enhancing weight loss outcomes in weight loss interventions.
If you want to start or join a cash prize challenge to kick off 2016 with a bang, consider signing up with HealthyWage. HealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation’s obesity epidemic and improve America’s collective health. How does a $10,000 top prize sound to you? One top winner, Kristin Westerfield of Indianapolis, IN lost 114 pounds and won $4,000.
Are you a social dieter? Which platform do you use? Does it keep you motivated?
N.A. Christakis and J.H. Fowler, “The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years,” New England Journal of Medicine 357(4): 370-79 (July 2007)
Teamwork Makes Weight Loss More Fun & Successful
Leahey, T.M., Kumar, R., Weinberg, B., Wing, R.R., “Teammates and Social Influence Affect Weight Loss Outcomes in a Team-based Weight Loss Competition,” Obesity, 20 7, 1413-18 (2012)