How to ‘up the ante’ on your Fitbit goals!

We’re just about halfway through the summer, and with many days of warm weather still ahead, most of us are planning fun outdoor activities or family adventures, or maybe just working toward our summertime fitness goals.

But for some, ok many of us, staying active can be a struggle, not only to reach our fitness goals, but to stick to our good exercise habits in the long run. The use of wearable heath devices, such as a Fitbit can serve as a valuable tool not just for tracking progress, but of setting goals and helping motivate users to meet them.

However, new research shows that there are ways to enhance the effectiveness of these tools, for even longer-term benefits through a process called gain-loss incentives. I’m pleased to introduce Idris Adjerid from Virginia Tech to discuss the findings of his study, “Gain-Loss Incentives and Physical Activity: The Role of Choice and Wearable Health Tools,” which will be published in the INFORMS journal Management Science.

So where the Fitbit and the incentives have a lot of complementarity is in this intersection of the incentive can give you that initial motivation or burst to engage in good behavior and then the Fitbit devices, as these low cost, digital interventions, can help you sustain that high activity after the economic incentives end. And so it’s that same issue of how do we get sustained positive behavior, even after we stop paying individuals.

Interviewed this episode:

Idris Adjerid

Virgina Tech

Idris Adjerid is an associate professor in Business Information Technology at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. He received his Ph.D. in information systems and management from Carnegie Mellon University and earned both an MBA and a bachelor’s degree in business information technology from Virginia Tech. His research uses econometric methods as well as lab and field experiments and consists of two, often overlapping, streams. The first stream focuses on the economics of privacy, with a focus on the intersection of behavioral economics and privacy decision-making. The second stream focuses on the economics of health care technologies. His research has been published in leading journals, including Management Science, Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, American Psychologist, and ACM Computing Surveys. His work and expert commentary have been cited by numerous outlets in the popular press, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Wired, Politico, and USA Today.

Related Episodes